Key Information for Anyone Considering a Divorce During Lockdown

Divorce is never an easy subject to think about, but it is now made even more difficult as a result of the current lockdown restrictions. Here, our family law solicitors, based in Ormskirk, set out some of the key issues that will need to be considered.

If you are thinking about divorce

A lot of attention has been spent upon how to deal with self-isolation and social distancing, but for those individuals who are in a marriage or relationship they don’t want to be in this can be a very difficult time.  

However, be assured that as family lawyers and specialist family law solicitors based in Ormskirk, Lancashire, we can continue to advise and assist in enabling individuals to begin to manage the process of divorce and separation.  We can provide information and support to enable you to think about options and likely scenarios.

How our divorce solicitors are working during lockdown

Most lawyers are able to continue working although may now have to conduct meetings via Skype or Zoom etc rather than the traditional face to face method. As a firm, we have invested in our IT infrastructure which means that we can continue to provide a professional service on a remote basis until we can get back to a more traditional way of holding client meetings.

For many this may offer more comfort than having the anxiety of having to perhaps travel to a solicitor’s office. For others it may be difficult to facilitate perhaps due to the lockdown and having a child or your spouse present in the home.

Do therefore contact our specialist family law solicitors and see what method of contact can work for you as there is usually flexibility in the approach we can offer.

Practical advice on separation during Covid-19 lockdown

As ever, it can be the practicalities of an actual separation that are most difficult. For those with resources or the ability to physically separate this can be achieved as long as both parties understand the asset pot and income available may reduce with two sets of accommodation to run, but for individuals this may be the best thing to do for their own health. 

This could be difficult during the current lockdown period but not impossible. The government guidance is of course changing daily but at the time of writing they are encouraging all bar non- essential moves to be postponed, including those renting; suggesting that if a move cannot be delayed and it is for example into an empty property then you must adhere to the social distancing requirements - not easy if you need outside help to physically move items.

This can clearly be beneficial where children are involved as it prevents them for witnessing conflict within the home. It is also important to prioritise your safety not just your health, and for those in abusive relationships who are unable to temporarily locate to family or friends it may be necessary to seek further legal advice.

Where a move is simply not possible and it is safe for you to remain then allowing each other some space within the home is imperative but bear in mind the benefits of you demonstrating to your children a level of good communication and co-operative co-parenting which will be of huge benefit to them as they grow up.

If you are in the middle of a divorce

As you would expect, the courts are, at the moment, prioritising cases where there is an urgent element and the safety or welfare of individuals at risk. Nonetheless, in most cases the wheels will keep turning and solicitors will try and reach a negotiated settlement between the parties.

Some individuals may wish to pause the divorce process given the current financial uncertainty and the significant reduction in asset portfolios and pension values. 

Others may wish to take into account the same position in trying to force through a settlement whilst the assets may be lower in value. For many, there is likely to be a slowing of the divorce process as properties are less likely to sell and individuals consider the effects of COVID-19 upon their business or employment and savings.

How do I get legal guidance from a divorce solicitor?

For those going through the process now, our family lawyers, specialising in divorce in Ormskirk, can continue to advise you upon your best options. 

If you are considering divorce or are in the middle of the process and would like to speak to one of specialist family law solicitors, please call our offices on 01695 574 201 to speak to Alexandra Kenyon or email her by clicking here.

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