Lawyer ‘flooded’ with calls from Canadian couples on ‘Divorce Day’

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There is no doubt that the COVID-19 The pandemic has put great pressure on many relationships, and a Canadian lawyer says the rate of people asking about divorce has skyrocketed in the new year.

Russell Alexander, a family attorney in Toronto, told Global News that his firm was “inundated” with calls last week from people seeking more information on how to leave their spouse.

Russell Alexander Collaborative Family Lawyers saw 68 percent more inquiries between January 3-7 than during its previous record, which occurred last July.

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Alexander says the first Monday in January is known in the industry as “Divorce Day,” usually the day the phones start ringing after the Christmas season.

Yet the reasons for divorce inquiries are changing as fast as the trajectory of the pandemic, he says.

Russell Alexander’s family law firm saw a large increase in divorce inquiries during the first week of 2022.

Courtesy / Russell Alexander

“This pandemic is throwing us a new curve ball every three or four months.

“At the beginning of the pandemic, people experienced a lot of claustrophobia, too much time with their spouse. It was similar to what we see with some newly retired couples who suddenly spend a lot more time with their spouse: They realize, ‘Hey, I really don’t like this person that much,’ ”she said. he told Global News.

But now some of those reasons are changing. Parents are divided over vaccinations or whether children should go to school during a pandemic. These are some of the problems now. “

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Read more:

Canada expects to see divorce rates rise by 2021

Alexander says that what were once “bumps” in a relationship, like problems that people could solve under more normal circumstances, have become deciding factors. Or, many minor stresses begin to build up, making it difficult for families to cope.

“Of course, there are still other stressors that arose with the onset of the pandemic: custody arrangements, cabin fever, disagreements on how to stay safe, but we are seeing the problems change and accumulate as the pandemic changes.” .

Hear Russell Alexander talk about divorce rate trends in Canada with The morning program Devon Peacock:

The holiday season can be stressful enough without the pressures of a pandemic, he says. Couples face a lot of time together on vacation, combined with a lot of financial pressure. Some people come out of the season feeling like they want to restart their lives. Many couples wait until after the holidays to give their children one last holiday season with both parents at home.

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“The holiday season is not the cause of a divorce, but in many cases it is a kind of breaking point for relationships that are already struggling,” he added.

“There is also a feeling for some people that the New Year is a good time to make dramatic changes in their lives.”

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Interestingly, Alexander says that people don’t necessarily wait until the pandemic storm subsides to leave their partners. In fact, his firm has been so busy that he has hired 12 new attorneys since March 2020.

“Divorce is a much faster process these days,” he said, explaining that the pandemic has forced many courts online and now people can do much of the process from the comfort of their homes.

Read more:

Divorces have risen during the coronavirus pandemic, and lawyers expect more

However, expect to see another increase in inquiries once we start to see the pandemic stabilize. Many people, he said, are probably waiting for a time when it is not so stressful and chaotic to make such a great life. change.

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Alexander wants to make it clear that divorce attorneys are not trying to stir the pot of separation and says family attorneys can help couples navigate multiple out-of-court options, including marriage counseling or agencies that can help them address and solve your problems.

“We really ask people to think about the big picture, and especially their children, if they have them,” he said.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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