Divorce Online has picked up a sad but possibly unsurprising statistic that has come out of lockdown, namely a really significant rise in the citing of alcohol consumption in divorce petitions. Whilst the mention of addiction is nothing new in the list of 'unreasonable behaviours' we tend to see on a regular basis, it seems that drinking and alcohol abuse shot up more than any other reason between March and September this year.
Impossible of course to know which came first: the pandemic, the drinking or the strained marriage, but what's clear is that even the happiest of couples have come under some strain from the events of this year.
Happily, the predicted stampede of divorces has failed to materialise but anecdotally I hear that online marriage counsellors have never been busier. With the forecast of massive job losses as furlough ends today, not to mention the threatened second full lockdown being announced on Monday, I fear that my family law colleagues and I may be getting busier over the coming months.
1 in 4 Behaviour Divorces Caused By Alcohol During The UK’s Lockdown Research carried by UK online divorce company Divorce-online.co.uk has found that during the key part of the UK national lockdown, nearly 1 in 4 behaviour-based divorce petitions prepared by the company mentioned alcohol abuse as a key reason for the divorce being filed. The company prepared 700 unreasonable behaviour petitions between 16th March and 31st August 2020 and 180 mentioned drinking or alcohol abuse. The next most common reasons were lack of communication/interaction and a lack of support with children and housework. A spokesperson for the company said, ”We’ve seen addiction to alcohol and drugs among other things mentioned in divorce petitions before as the reason for the marriage breakdowns.