Vanessa Hernandez Featured in Divorce Podcast on the ABC: The Good Divorce – Divorcing in a Pandemic
Our Head of Family Law in Queensland, Vanessa Hernandez, was interviewed by Tamara Oudyn from the ABC for her Life Matters podcast series, about the trends we are seeing in family law during the Covid lockdown period. You can listen to the divorce podcast here on the ABC website.
During the podcast, Vanessa reflected on some of the more worrying trends. Due to the increased pressure on families during this time, there has been a stark increase in family violence-related enquiries, particularly in the area of financial abuse. Tighter budgets and financial constraints have put further pressure on relationships. Vanessa commented that information is power for victims who found the advice on options for them during this difficult time a huge help.
Also, a large increase in general enquiries regarding family law matters was observed as families suffered under the pressure of lockdown conditions. This same trend was seen post the GFC period with many people putting on hold any decision to divorce/separate until the period of uncertainty had passed.
Family therapists and lawyers are reportedly booked out due to a spike in inquiries thanks to the COVID-19 lockdowns, particularly in Melbourne and Sydney. A spike in enquiries was also observed in July and November post the lockdown periods relaxing nationally and particularly in the Melbourne market.
In the podcast, a panel of experts including Vanessa explored what it’s like to separate in a pandemic and if 2021 will result in the tsunami of divorces some are predicting.
Jack Whelan, barrister and mediator, founder of The Separation Guide
Rachel Voysey, principal psychologist at The Relationship Room
Vanessa Hernandez, head of family law in Queensland for Australian Family Lawyers
Marguerite Picard, collaborative family lawyer, director of MELCA, family dispute resolution
Case study: Ashley
Duration: 15min 6sec
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