The media has recently published several stories about an increase in divorces in China immediately following their lockdown period, however it is yet to be seen whether the UK will reflect this rise in divorce cases. What we do know is that many families and couples are going through a period of difficulty and stress at the moment that can compound issues already present. This doesn’t always mean that a struggling relationship will end in divorce, but it is not surprising that even the strongest of relationships may be put under strain whilst living under restrictions and possible financial pressures.
A recent survey by Relate found that almost a quarter of surveyed Brits who have a partner (23%) say the current circumstances are placing pressure on their relationship. Relate urges couples who are having relationship issues to seek counselling via video or phone call before a crisis hits.
However, for people who may have been thinking about divorce or separation prior to the outbreak of the coronavirus or who have come to the decision during lockdown, it may seem that options are limited at this time. However, there are options available and it is important to seek advice as early as possible to assist you in making an informed decision.
What are my options?
You may be concerned that starting divorce proceedings at this time may add to an already strained situation, however, we are able to offer initial advice about your situation to help you decide when the time is right and advise on what the process will be, when and if you do decide to go ahead with a divorce or separation.
We know that deciding to divorce or separate is a huge decision and that you may just need some initial advice about the options available to you, so we offer an initial confidential 1-hour appointment with a family lawyer for £150+VAT. During the appointment, we will discuss the details of your situation, offer initial advice, and give you an indication of costs.Make an appointment
Although face to face appointments with a family lawyer are not possible at this time due to social distancing measures and restrictions, our family team are able to offer video or telephone consultations for advice and support about your situation. We understand that private conversations may be difficult if you are still living with your partner, however we can also offer advice via email in the first instance and find a time that is convenient to offer a video or phone call appointment. You can fill out our online enquiry form and request the contact method that suits you best and a member of our family team will be in touch.
We have been supporting many clients in the last few weeks to answer questions about child contact arrangements, the stages of divorce and what their options are should they decide to divorce or separate at this time. We have also supported many clients, whose divorce proceedings had already begun before lockdown started, to continue with their divorce and achieve the best outcome possible for their family.
What about my house and finances?
Many people considering divorce or separation are naturally concerned about finances, living and child contact arrangements, and this may be even more worrying during this time of restrictions. We can help you by discussing the practicalities of divorce during this time and the options available to you in your circumstances.
You might be concerned about what will happen to the family home or whether you will have to make or be entitled to maintenance payments. We can offer advice about property and living arrangements and can discuss your financial situation. We can also offer help and advice to resolve any disputes, advise on what you may be entitled to and outline how assets may be divided. We can support you during this difficult time and put agreements and arrangements in place.
Will I need to go to court?
In most cases matters can be settled without the need to go to court and divorce petitions can be filed online, so proceedings can be started even though we are currently in a period of lockdown and social distancing measures.
Dealing with the practical arrangements for divorce can be challenging, especially in the current circumstances, but our family law team will put you first and work out a plan that helps you move forward.