Will 2021 see a surge in demand for family legal services? - Olivia Stiles quoted in
Today's Family Lawyer

3 December 2020

Olivia Stiles, associate in our Family and Divorce team, has been quoted in Today's Family Lawyer about the possible rise in demand for family legal services as we enter the new year. 

In the article, Olivia anticipated that the public emerging from lockdown and into a new year will be looking to plan their future and requiring legal advice.

The Covid-19 pandemic has forced us all into a new normal. For some, more time spent at home with family has strengthened relationships and marriages with a genuine sharing of the childcare and household chores, whereas for others it has made the cracks that were already there ever more apparent and relationships have been forced to breaking point.

We expect that as the public emerge from lockdown and with new year’s resolutions around the corner, people will start to look forward to their ‘post-pandemic new normal’ and planning their future. This may include moving to another part of the country or abroad, revised working commitments and in some cases, it may mean a decision to separate from their spouse or partner. As the end of the pandemic is likely still some way off, we anticipate that people will take this time, while restrictions remain in place, to consider their options, plan their futures and take legal advice."

Olivia also commented on the projected 'no fault' divorce which may come into force in 2021.

Despite the publicity around ‘no fault’ divorce which we hope will come into force some time in Autumn 2021, there is still an assumption by a large section of the public and the clients that consult us that it is possible to divorce based on “irreconcilable differences” (a term borrowed from the US) with neither party blaming the other. Usually when a client is consulting a divorce lawyer, they are already well-advanced in their decision-making and despite the fact that a ‘blame-free’ divorce is not possible as they had hoped, the vast majority still want to proceed rather than waiting a period of 2 years (or until Autumn 2021) to have a ‘no fault’ divorce."

The relative ease with which individuals can now issue a divorce petition online may make the more impulsive among the public ‘push the button’ on a divorce more readily and in many instances without taking advice. This may result in an uptick of issued divorces, although it will be interesting to follow through the statistics which track the percentage of divorces issued online which actually proceed to a Decree Absolute."

The full article on Today's Family Lawyer can be read here.

Further Information

If you have any questions about the topic of this blog,  please contact a member of our team of family and divorce lawyers or click here to get started online and find out where you stand.


About the author

Olivia is an Associate in the Family and Divorce TeamOlivia works on a wide range of private family matters, including:

  • divorce;
  • complex financial disputes;
  • matters relating to children, including international relocation and surrogacy; and
  • pre-nuptial agreements.


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