More South Africans applying for divorce amid lockdown

More South Africans applying for divorce amid lockdown

There has been a reported increase in divorce applications and interest since lockdown came into effect in South Africa. The reasons behind the choice, however, are varied.

New stats reveal that South Africa is ranked at number 83 out of 154 countries in the world for its divorce rates. Local law firm DIY Legal says they have seen a 20% increase in divorce applications since level 4 lockdown was instated as the courts reopened for the service. The firm took a deeper look at these concerning stats to understand the reason behind it.

According to DIY Legal, there are many reasons South Africans cite as the basis for wanting a divorce. 16% of respondents said their choice was down to a lack of love, respect or affection from their partner.

Brendan McNulty, founder of DIY Legal, explains additional stressors like unemployment, financial strain and being stuck at home all day also contribute to these statistics.

It is important to note that an increase in divorce rate is currently being experienced worldwide, South Africa is not unique in this regard. There are various reports relaying a surge in divorce applications in China. National media has reported that marriage registration offices in some districts in Xi’an, capital of Northwest China’s Shaanxi Province, have experienced unprecedented divorce appointments since their reopening on March 1.

“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, adding that the office had been closed for a month, therefore the office has seen an acutely increasing divorce appointment,” an official from the registration office told reporters. “Usually the office would see a wave of divorcement after Spring Festival and the college entrance examination.”

Saudia Arabia has seen a 30% increase in divorce applications, and in Britain the divorce rate increased by 42% between late March and mid-May.

Feature image: Unsplash

Article written by