Law firm Wright Hassall reports a 31% increase in divorce enquiries since lockdown began, with 30% of adults believing that an increased use of social media has been a contributing factor.
The number of cases of divorce is on the rise, exacerbated by lockdown and the increased use of social media to maintain contact and develop relationships. The report states that with the prospect of increasing lockdowns, be those national or local, these figures could be set to rise. This report is also backed up by a recent statement from the Citizens advice Bureau which said views on its divorce webpage on the first September weekend were up 25% compared with the same date in 2019.
Law firm, Wright Hassall, has reported a 31% increase in the number of divorce cases since the beginning of lockdown with supporting research produced by the firm suggesting social media could be playing a part.
The new survey conducted by the firm reveals that 44% of adults would contemplate ending their relationship if they found their partner to be sending or receiving inappropriate messages or images from someone else online – something which 30% of adults believe has got worse since the start of the pandemic.
The data also reveals that 38% of people claim to have previously checked a partner’s phone or logged into their social media accounts to check for inappropriate content sent to or from someone else and almost 1 in 4 of those respondents in relationships (24%) confessed to checking this at least once during lockdown.
In addition, the research also suggests we could be seeing a rise in online affairs due to the mundanity of lockdown life and the strain it can place on relationships.
Indeed, the number of couples rowing during lockdown has increased significantly, with almost half of couples (46%) admitting they have had more tiffs with their spouse than usual.
When quizzed on the reasons why they might be tempted to exchange flirtatious messages on social media with someone other than their spouse, the top reason was to feel desired by someone else (43%), followed by feeling unhappy in their current relationship (40%).
Dal Heran, Family Lawyer at Wright Hassall, comments: “Lockdown has put strain on a great many aspects of our lives; from mental health to our finances and indeed our physical health; all of which can have an impact on our relationships.
“At Wright Hassall, we’re currently experiencing an increase in divorce enquiries which our research suggests could be being partially driven by people being tempted to go astray by the development of online relationships and flirtations.
“Couples are reporting a surge in arguments and mental health is, in many cases, suffering. This could be leaving many adults contemplating their relationships.”
“The decision to divorce can be life-changing and it is something that we anticipate seeing even more of if additional UK regions are to be placed back under stricter lockdown restrictions.”