Longridge: 01772 783314 | Garstang: 01995 602129 | Lancaster: 01524 581306 
Longridge: 01772 783 314 
Garstang: 01995 602 129 
Lancaster: 01524 581 306 
A couple, one holding a boquet of flowers.
Lockdown due to the Coronavirus pandemic has meant that a lot of couples have been enforced to spend more time together. With usual escapes such as work, the pub, gym, visiting friends or family or meeting people for lunch being off limits this has sadly sounded the death bell for many relationships and marriages, particularly if they were on rocky ground to start with, as the flaws and problems can no longer be ignored or avoided. 
Other couples on the other hand have seen their relationships flourish. Having no option but to spend more time together has led to better communication and to a rediscovery about what made them fall in love with each other in the first place. Inevitably for some this has led to being able to find time for more intimacy which may bring about conversations with regards to starting or expanding a family, or which, depending on which precautions are being taken (if any!) may result in an unexpected development! 

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So, what about the couples who were not living together before the lockdown? The suggestion from our Prime Minister was that couples should consider moving in together. That is all very well and good in theory but not all relationships had reached that point and to attempt it before the parties thought they were ready to share their home with another, particularly if both were furloughed or having to work from home, which meant being together 24 hours a day, has every chance of leading to bickering, full blown arguments and total disaster for a relationship which may have had chance to blossom under other circumstances. Of course, lockdown could also have been the ‘push’ that some couples needed to move their relationship to the next level but again the strange situation may have caused issues that would otherwise not have been there. Let’s face it, it is commonly believed that going on holiday for two weeks with your partner is a good test of the relationship as you are not used to spending that much time together, but at least you should have decent weather and good food to ease the pain and the option of going for a walk alone if you start to annoy one another, without having to remember to stay 2 metres away from others! 
Your family solicitors have sympathy for those who were in the early stages of a relationship or knew they were not ready to take the next step. The rules of lockdown have meant these relationships have had to be conducted by telephone, messaging and video calls – not ideal but those in a relationship with members of the armed forces, for example, have never had any other option. No wonder that certain women’s magazines have been featuring articles on getting the most out of sexting and staying intimate ‘long distance’! 
The restrictions under the Coronavirus Act 2020 have been eased even more with couples first being able to meet in public places and then in gardens, however they are still expected to remain 2 metres apart from each other. Will this closer contact without being able to show each other affection be even stranger than a remote relationship? Then again, if in a public place such as a park, particularly if you travel out of the area, who is to know you have only met up there and do not actually live together? It is clear that some will not be as strict as the Government, possibly unrealistically, expects. If seeing someone in a garden, you are allowed to pass through the house to get there and you can use the bathroom. It does not take much to assume that some will be taking longer to get from street to garden or will be spending a longer time in the bathroom as they are, shall we say, occupied with other things if passions are running high! 
A word of warning here as it has been made quite clear that having sexual intercourse with someone from a different household in your home is currently illegal under the Coronavirus Act 2020. 
So, whilst your local family solicitors in Lancaster would never encourage breaking the law, perhaps the phrase not to “get caught with your pants down” should be taken literally! And before anyone has the idea of just moving sex outside, this is already illegal even for those who do not need to keep 2 metres apart! 
There will be plenty who will be strictly following the rules but once restrictions are lifted it is does not take much to predict that desires will be allowed to flow freely once social distancing is removed, and again protection against pregnancy may fly out of the window! 
One last group to look at is our younger members of society who are currently not in a relationship. Their social lives have been seriously restricted. Once these restrictions are lifted and the public can meet whomever they want, wherever they want, with alcohol intake perhaps being used more than usual, or affecting people quicker or differently if they have abstained or reduced their levels during lockdown, should we expect this new found freedom to lead to some individuals throwing caution to the wind and for there to be a surge in one-night-stands, which again runs the risk of protection against pregnancy, and indeed sexually transmitted diseases, being completely forgotten? 
Only time will tell. Our family solicitors at MG Legal just hope that the trend of giving a child a name which reminds the parents of the night or circumstances of conception does not play out after lockdown and we have a babies from 2020/21 named “Corona” or “Pandemic”! 
If you are experiencing any relationship issues now or in the future or require advice in relation to child arrangements should there be an unplanned arrival, contact MG Legal, your local family solicitors in Lancaster on 01524 581306 our offices in Garstang on 01995 60129 or our friendly family law experts in Preston, on 01772 783314 or enquire online at enquiries@mglegal.co.uk
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