Couples that narrowly avoided separation after the first lockdown are unlikely to survive a second, says a leading Sheffield divorce solicitor.
Bradie Pell, head of family law at Graysons, has been dealing with a tsunami of divorce enquiries since the first lockdown came to an end.
The record-breaking levels have even been peaking above the yearly ‘divorce day’ – the traditional spike in January that sees couples that have managed to hold it together for the festive period finally throwing the towel in.
Law firms traditionally see a lull in divorce enquiries in the summer months but this year – with the pandemic causing couples to spend months alone with each other – many have been reporting a staggering 40% increase when compared to the same period in 2019.
Bradie Pell said: “It has been an incredibly challenging situation for everyone. The first lockdown tested the resilience of even the strongest marriage.
“But my fear is the impact of a second lockdown. Couples are just starting to get their lives back together and settling back into a more healthy work/life balance. Another lockdown could be curtains for many. Add spiralling levels of mental health issues and increasing alcohol consumption brought on by Covid and you have a looming catastrophe.
“It has been truly heart-breaking to see previously happy couples going through the emotional turmoil of a divorce brought on by the first lockdown. I just hope, if the worst does happen, couples learn from their experiences earlier in the year and give each other the space and tolerance to get through a second.”
Born and bred in Sheffield, Bradie Pell started her legal career at the University of Sheffield where she successfully undertook a degree in law and criminology. Bradie then went on to complete her Legal Practice course at the University of Sheffield.
Bradie Pell deals with the whole spectrum of legal issues that affect families, including divorce, separation, finances, injunctions and matters relating to children.