The Coronavirus fall out: literally!

Coronavirus has had, and continues to have an impact on all aspects of people’s lives around the globe. However, there has been one, more unexpected impact; rising divorce rates.

China has reported a steep rise in divorce cases since the outbreak, with the Chinese city of Xi’an seeing a record breaking high of divorce applications. In some districts, there has been such a significant level of applications that government offices have run out of appointments.

Chinese health officials have put this down to two things. Firstly, that their government offices have been closed for a number of weeks and this has resulted in a rush of applications. Secondly and more interestingly, that the outbreak has forced couples to be quarantined with each other for long periods of time; too much time!

One health official told the Global Times that “as a result of the epidemic, many couples have been bound with each other at home for over a month, which evoked the underlying conflicts”.

The Daily Mail reports that over 300 couples have scheduled appointments to get a divorce since 24th February 2020, in Dazhou, Sichuan Province of south-western China. Mr Lu Shijun, the manager of a marriage registry in Dazhou, reported that the divorce rate in the district has soared compared to numbers prior to the coronavirus outbreak.

This raises interesting questions as to the appropriate amount of time to spend with your partner. How much, is too much? This topic has been commonly researched by psychologists over the years, to try and find the key to a successful marriage. The conclusion appears to be a balance between the two; spending time together as well as time apart.

An article posted by Psychology Today reports that “partners who do things together become more closely connected and come to enjoy each other’s company. That’s because shared experiences give them something in common; that helps make them feel good about each other.” However, “balance and compromise are essential when it comes to using time… a mix of time with friends and family, time together as a couple, and separate time for each partner add to marital quality”.

If you are currently quarantined and require advice on any aspect of family law, please contact our family team at

-Claire Wilkie

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