Couples that narrowly avoided separation after the first lockdown are unlikely to survive a second, says a leading Sheffield divorce solicitor.
Bradie Pell, head of family law at Graysons, has been dealing with a tsunami of divorce enquiries since the first lockdown came to an end.
The record-breaking levels have even been peaking above the yearly ‘divorce day' - the traditional spike in January that sees couples that have managed to hold it together for the festive period finally throwing the towel in.
Law firms traditionally see a lull in divorce enquiries in the summer months but this year - with the pandemic causing couples to spend months alone with each other - many have been reporting a staggering 40% increase when compared to the same period in 2019.
Bradie said: "It has been an incredibly challenging situation for everyone. The first lockdown tested the resilience of even the strongest marriage.
"But my fear is the impact of a second lockdown. Couples are just starting to get their lives back together and settling back into a more healthy work/life balance. Another lockdown could be curtains for many. Add spiralling levels of mental health issues and increasing alcohol consumption brought on by Covid and you have a looming catastrophe.
"It has been truly heart-breaking to see previously happy couples going through the emotional turmoil of a divorce brought on by the first lockdown. I just hope, if the worst does happen, couples learn from their experiences earlier in the year and give each other the space and tolerance to get through a second."
Born and bred in Sheffield, Bradie started her legal career at the University of Sheffield where she successfully undertook a degree in law and criminology. Bradie then went on to complete her Legal Practice course at the University of Sheffield.