I came across this article a couple of days ago on the BBC website. Reflecting on its content my view is that it makes for desperately sad reading. 

The global pandemic has had an immeasurable impact on all facets of family life, I wrote an article only a couple of months ago setting out some of the impacts of lockdown on vulnerable children. What the statistics in this article show is the impact is just as stark for couples. Whether it is the effect of being in physical lockdown with your spouse for so many months, the financial pressures of furlough, redundancy or economic downturn, or the inability to get support when struggling, many more couples are having to deal with the consequences of separation than would have but for Covid-19. 

In my professional life, I see the effects of acrimonious separations on couples and especially children. If there is a ray of light, it is that an unintended consequence of the pandemic is that courts have struggled to cope with the volume of family applications. As a result, more practitioners are routinely utilising ADR (mediation, arbitration, collaborative practice etc) due to court pressures. In my view, these options provide both a cost-effective alternative to litigation but also preserve far more the relationship between separated couples, something that is vitally important when there are children of the relationship. My hope is that ADR will increasingly become the norm to resolve family disputes with court application being the exception or where significant safeguarding factors exist. This in turn will relieve pressure on the family court and allow those cases that require a Judge to be dealt with more expediently.