VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — With some couples pushed to the limits financially and emotionally during the COVID-19 pandemic, one lawyer says inquiries about divorce are up.
Rain Henderson, a partner at Henderson Heinrichs, says she is swamped with the current workload of couples inquiring about splitting-up, but as busy as it is now, she believes more people will start following through when life starts to stabilize.
“It’s definitely looking like a lot of people are fact-finding, getting information and taking that initiative to be able to separate once they are financially in a better position to do so,” she tells NEWS 1130. “Once we have people returning to work more steadily — if they still have the same inclination to separate — we’ll be seeing a surge of work coming our way.”
Til pandemic do us part — interesting chat with lawyer Rain Henderson with @hhfamilylaw_llp about divorce — she tells @NEWS1130 she’s “swamped” by inquiries about the potential for splits, and believes many people will follow through after financial situation stabilizes.
— Martin MacMahon (@martinmacmahon) January 27, 2021
While consultations are up compared to previous years, people actually following through with divorce hasn’t notably increased yet.
“From my sheer workload and talking to my colleagues, we are swamped. It is definitely a busy time,” she says.
Henderson says she has been answering more questions about legal options if one parent doesn’t follow public health orders.
“People are exploring what their options are because they’ve been through a very stressful situation with COVID,” she adds.
Isolation adds pressure during pandemic
Back in April of 2020, after COVID-19 lockdowns swept across the country, experts suggested isolation could add strain to relationships.
Corey Anderson, a divorce mediator, told CityNews at the time there are two periods of the year couples often call it quits, after the summer and after Christmas.
He anticipated a third peak after isolation.
“In periods of isolation when people are locked together or tied together we can expect to see increases in divorce rates,” he said.
Anderson explains the changes in lifestyle brought on by the pandemic alter the family dynamic and bring underlying issues to the surface.
“We’ve got nowhere to go, nowhere to hide. We just see it all and, eventually, we just end up focusing on the negative,” he added.
– With files from Rachelle Elsiufi