What does Coronavirus mean for my divorce? | Family Law

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought with it much uncertainty, the likes of which have not been seen in many of our lifetimes. For those considering a divorce, or already in the process, it is a difficult time and many will be concerned about the impact on the Family Courts.

For those considering a divorce, it may feel as though this is not the right time to start proceedings, particularly if you and your spouse are living in the same property. It may be helpful to seek legal advice at an early stage to be in the best position to proceed when restrictions start being lifted. Our lawyers are offering telephone and Zoom meetings to provide initial advice regarding steps that could be taken now to allow you to commence the process as soon as it is practical.

I am going through a Divorce

The Family Courts have largely been able to adapt to the government restrictions, with court hearings taking place remotely such as over the telephone. However, there continue to be long delays in court applications being processed.

For each case there will be differing advice depending on the circumstances and there will be options available to progress your case, if appropriate.  It may also be necessary to consider, however, whether it is worth waiting to understand the impact of the pandemic on property values, businesses, income and savings.

My Divorce has concluded

For those who have concluded proceedings, you may be paying or receiving spousal maintenance or child maintenance and there will be uncertainty of the impact on your financial position.

The Family Court does have the power to change the amount being paid for spousal maintenance if there has been a significant change in circumstance. It may be too soon to know the long term impact on individual circumstances and it can take time for the Court to deal with such matters.

In the first instance, if possible, it is worth reaching out to your former spouse to determine whether an agreement can be reached to change the amount being paid, even if an interim arrangement can be agreed while waiting to understand the long term impact on finances. Our family team are able to advise and assist with such matters.

You may also be due to pay a lump sum, sell a property or shares etc. It is possible to revisit a financial settlement in certain circumstances and our family team are also able to advise regarding this.

The long term impact of coronavirus may not be known for some time, however by seeking early legal advice and understanding the options available will provide some clarification and reassurance in these difficult times.

 For further advice contact Eilidh Rose on 0121 227 3375 or email erose@thursfields.co.uk

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