The new year is the time when we all reflect on the previous year and begin to make plans for the year ahead. Last year was very difficult for many of us, with Covid-19 resulting in restrictions to our lives that only 18 months ago, would have been unimaginable.
With many of us spending more time at home than ever before, 2020 presented us with the unexpected opportunity to spend more quality time with our immediate family unit. Video calling facilities, such as Zoom and HouseParty, also meant that a lot of us got to see more of our extended family and friends than we would in a normal year, albeit not in the physical sense.
Has this tightened our family bonds or put more strain on our relationships? The answer is probably a little bit of both.
More time at home, without the normal distractions of the school run, commuting or nights out (be they for work or pleasure), has meant that for many families, family time has increased dramatically. While this has had many positives, with lots of parents getting to spend much more time with their children, living in such close proximity, without any escape, against the stressful backdrop of the pandemic, has meant that things have not always been easy.
Divorce rates increased around the world in 2020, as lockdown forced more couples into spending much more time together than they had ever bargained for. While the stress of the pandemic, together with the difficulties many of us are facing as a result of the pandemic in our everyday lives, has no doubt brought some relationships to an abrupt end, the picture is not as simple as it first seems. Many believe that the lockdowns have served to hasten break-ups of relationships that maybe would have broken down anyway at a later date, if it had not been for being forced to spend so much time together.
Conversely, some research has concluded that the first lockdown actually made families happier, with a quarter of parents saying that their relationship with their children had improved.
As we look forward to the year ahead, during which we may, at some point, get back to some form of normal following the Covid-19 vaccine roll-out, it is worth remembering that there is support out there if you need it. If your relationship is struggling, lots of counsellors are offering remote video sessions. If you feel your relationship may have come to an end and you are considering getting a divorce, we are here to help. Get in touch today to book your free video consultation with one of our experienced divorce lawyers.