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Lawyers say lockdown has raised the financial and emotional strain on couples, prompting a surge in divorce inquiries. Between lockdown being declared in England on March 23 and mid-May, the number of people inquiring about a divorce rose by 42 per cent. In certain weeks of the pandemic, the rise was as high as 75 per cent compared with the previous year.
Extreme volatility in equity markets in recent months has hit dividend income. Hetty Gleave, partner in the family department at Hunters Law, says this may affect pension income or maintenance awards. “Many people have also had pay cuts, so until they know whether this is a temporary or permanent measure, it may be unsafe to discuss longer term maintenance,” says Ms Gleave.