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Divorce During COVID-19 | Understanding the Spike!

For newlyweds Ian and Alyssa, the concept of “isolating” had almost a cozy appeal when lockdown restrictions were first unveiled at the start of the public health crisis. As two working (and commuting) professionals accustomed to clocking in long hours at the office, the idea of working from home and spending more time together was indeed a good thing!  But what was supposed to be a 2-week measure, stretched on, and on. The initial joys of isolating together wore away, replaced by feelings of anxiety, frustration, and a deep longing to go back to the way things were. The added stress wore on the relationship, leading to cracks that, despite their earnest efforts to mend, only grew deeper. Only 18 months into their marriage, Alyssa and Ian, like so many other Canadians, are filing for divorce. Sound familiar?

Among the long list of impacts of the COVID-19 virus upon our communities and families, the spike in divorce cases has been an unfortunate side-effect. Toronto’s Private Investigator Team at Star Quality Private Investigations have been at the epicenter of these pandemic divorces, as clients consult the firm for assistance in collecting evidence to expedite their divorce case and reach a fair and favourable settlement as quickly as possible.

“As we approach the one-year anniversary of the first COVID-19 lockdown, what we’ve discovered is that for some couples, the lockdown and isolation measures put their relationship into hyper speed. Newer couples learned things about each other that they may not have learned for years, perhaps introducing new areas of contention. In other cases, the isolation exposed existing issues in the relationship – such as infidelity, addiction, mental illness – that were previously hidden within the daily folds of our lives.”

– Adrianne F. Director, SQPI

In this post, we’re sharing some of the top factors leading to this new “divorce pandemic”, and how our leading Private Investigator team can help if you’re navigating a divorce or separation during this time.

Changing Routines

Routines offer a comforting rhythm to life, bringing us stability and stimulation. Whether its daily morning workouts at the gym, weekly happy-hour meetups with coworkers, or regular Sunday dinners with the family, COVID-19 shook up (and effectively stopped) these regular rituals. While we grappled with new routines within the confines of our homes, these changes place a great deal of stress upon a relationship. Without outlets to re-charge, de-stress, and socialize, couples naturally turn to their partner to meet these needs, which more often than not, turns into a “pressure cooker” situation…and eventually, that pressure cooker pops.

Lack of Outside Support

Many couples, particularly those with young children, relay heavily upon outside support to keep daily life moving forward seamlessly. From babysitters and housekeepers to family members and friends, many of us have an extensive network of people who provide regular physical and emotional support within our lives, many of us had to make do without this support during the COVID-19 period.

Financial Stresses

COVID-19 effectively brought the Canadian economy to an abrupt pause when it trickled across borders in 2020, and many Canadians struggled with job or income loss, or business closures as a result. Despite the availability of government relief programs, intense financial stress was felt by many Canadians. It is no surprise that finances are one of the leading causes of tension in relationships, and as such, it makes sense that the divorce rate has risen in tandem during this period of economic volatility[1].

Mental Health Issues

Considering that Canada was already in a mental health crisis prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, isolation and lockdown measures both magnified and added to this existing issue. For some couples, the anxiety, mounting stress, and fear surrounding the pandemic, have weighed heavily upon the mental health of each partner, negatively impacting relationships.

Deteriorating mental health has also led many Canadians to turn to substance use as a coping mechanism, with CAMH reporting that over a quarter of Canadians aged 35-54 have increased their alcohol consumption since social distancing and isolation measures were introduced[2]. Particularly when substance use also impacts other areas of your life, such as finances, or safety of your children, divorce is a common outcome.

Looking for Support?

While navigating a divorce is never an easy process, separating during a pandemic creates further obstacles within an already emotionally-charged time in your life. We’re here to help you every step of the way.

As well as assisting our clients with securing evidence through Divorce & Separation Investigations, we are also committed to providing holistic client care, offering the support services they need even after their investigation is concluded. Though our Case Support & Life Coaching program, we offer comprehensive support and guidance to clients struggling with the aftermath of their divorce, helping them find new purpose and reach their full potential.

Still have questions? Reach out to Toronto’s trusted Private Investigator Team at Star Quality Private Investigations today.






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