Coronavirus: Isolation may spark surge in divorces, warns lawyer

A family lawyer from Belfast firm Phoenix Law believes that the coronavirus outbreak could lead to a spike in Northern Ireland’s divorce rate as couples enter isolation together.

Ciaran Moynagh spoke out after divorce lawyer Baroness Shackleton of Belgravia, whose previous clients include the Prince of Wales, Liam Gallagher and Thierry Henry’s ex-wife Claire Merry, told the House of Lords that an increase in the UK’s divorce rate was “very likely”.

She told peers at Westminster: “The prediction amongst divorce lawyers is that, following self-imposed confinement, it is very likely that the divorce rate will rise. Our peak times are after long exposure during the summer holidays and over Christmas.

“One only has to imagine what it’s going to be like when families are sealed in a property for a long period of time.”

Mr Moynagh added that because families and couples were being dragged out of their daily routines through school closures and working from home, cracks that may already be in a relationship would begin to show or “will certainly widen”.