Advice on Divorce in a Pandemic
Many couples have understandably found the pandemic difficult. There have been so many ups and downs and, for many of us, life has changed drastically. As a result of COVID and the strain it has put on relationships, we’ve seen an increase in the number of separating couples approaching us for support. Further to this, the BBC stated that visits to the Citizens Advice web page about divorce had risen by around 25% this September compared to last.
We’d like any couples who find themselves in this situation to know that help is there for them from divorce solicitors such as ourselves. It is unfortunate but true that many couples with struggles prior to the outbreak have found 2020 to bring them to a tipping point. There will likely be so many questions unanswered, and we hope the following information is helpful to those hoping to find out more about divorce proceedings throughout a pandemic.
Adapted Divorce Process Due To COVID-19
As with most areas in life, legal procedures have had to adapt in order to follow government guidelines. Where possible, most consultations and discussions are carried out on video platforms such as Zoom or Skype. Whilst this is a problem for some (for example, who have children living with them) it is the safest way to communicate at this time. We advise that you discuss your circumstances with your point of contact should you not be able to video chat.
The legal sector has been hugely affected by the pandemic, and due to many different factors, people are advised to expect delays. Whilst we endeavour to carry out all our proceedings as swiftly as we can, now is an exceptionally busy time and many divorces are taking longer than they usually would to go through. You can rest assured, though, that we will help you as quickly as we possibly can.
The First Steps To Take
Whilst divorce is not something to be taken lightly, if you have made your decision, there are some initial steps to take. Firstly, you should consider the short term. The following are all areas to address:
- Work out your living arrangements
- Discuss how you will handle any shared property
- Make arrangements for your children (if you have them)
- Make decisions about your financial situation
Following these steps, you should get some advice from divorce solicitors. Our family law team would be more than happy to help with a consultation to run through everything you need to know to make the process as smooth as it can be.
Divorce for Couples Who Live Together
If you and your partner are wanting to divorce but you have property together, things may seem especially complicated. The Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 and further amendments is most referred to in these family law cases. Whilst there is advice for when a couple wants to sell a property they jointly own, there are also provisions for couples who have property that’s not being sold. For example, there are options to consider whereby one owner can live in the property alone without the second being deprived of their asset.
Our family solicitors would be more than happy to discuss the options available to you if you find yourself in uncertain circumstances.
There are many reasons to file for divorce, and no matter your circumstance, we will do all we can to help you. The legal system may be taking longer, but we recognise that our clients are anxious to resolve their cases as quickly as possible. Please feel free to get in touch with us if we can help you at all through this difficult time.