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Breakups and divorces to increase as Czechs struggle with “COVID fatigue”


Prague, Czech Republic – Breakups and divorces are set to increase in the Czech Republic as people are finding it increasingly difficult to deal with the side-effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, a grouping of family experts has found.

COVID crisis could lead to rise in breakups and divorces

Lawyers and experts of Koroporadna, an association dealing in family law, have found that the second wave of coronavirus is taken a hard toll on Czechs’ ability to cope with the stress and anxiety of the pandemic and is heavily impacting personal relationships.

According to Koroporadna, while the first wave of COVID-19 in the spring had initially brought family and close ones together in solidarity with the hope that the situation would soon improve, the second wave and re-introduction of lockdown measures had the opposite effect.

“People are running out of financial and psychological reserves”, points out Daniela Kovářová, the head of the Czech Union of Family Lawyers, adding that breakups and divorces, usually put on hold during the first wave as families came together to overcome the crisis, are now set to increase due to “COVID fatigue”.

Facing an uncertain future

Fears about the future, financial uncertainty, physical and psychological exhaustion all contribute to the increasingly grim outlook – only worsened by the perspective of the cold winter months.

Koroporadna experts have also noted that the same people who, in the spring, were ready to offer help to those in need were now finding themselves on the opposite side and requiring assistance to manage the side-effects of the coronavirus crisis.

The agency had already warned of the risk posed by the pandemic on the mental health of seniors and elderly people, who found themselves more isolated than ever due to quarantine and lockdown measures.

Personal relationships affected by COVID pandemic worldwide

The impact of the COVID-19 crisis on personal relationships has been widely documented, and help guides offering “relationship advice in the age of coronavirus” have proliferated. From China to the U.K., initial figures suggest many countries could see a spike in divorce cases after the end of lockdown.

From being locked up in close proximity with a partner for several months to using the crisis to reevaluate one’s life goals, the patterns at work are complex: while some couples and families may come out stronger from the ordeal, the overall climate of stress, anxiety and uncertainty may also easily drive others apart.

“In ‘normal times’, a crisis would force couples into a cooperative pattern”, said U.S.-based behavioural scientist and relationship coach Clarissa Silva. “But COVID-19 is creating and re-creating patterns of uncertainty for many families [and] has extended the disillusionment phase to be part of everyday life”.

From a more prosaic standpoint, while many couples could find it difficult to break-up as they remain in quarantine together – sometimes with children to care for – the introduction by courts of online judicial and divorce proceedings in some countries may have, on the other hand, accelerated the ability to get a divorce.

Headed by Kafkadesk's chief-editor Jules Eisenchteter, our Prague office gathers over half a dozen reporters, editors and contributors, as well as our social media team. It covers everything Czech and Slovak-related, and oversees operations from our other Central European desks in Krakow and Budapest.

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