Supporting you through a divorce during lockdown
Even as lockdown restrictions lift and we begin to start navigating the ‘new normal’, many couples are facing the reality of a relationship breakdown. But what steps can you take at this particularly difficult time to protect yours and your families future?
Can you still get advice about a divorce or separation?
Of course. We are offering free initial consultations by telephone or Skype for clients finding themselves needing advice about a new family matter, including divorce and separation. Our team of specialist family lawyers are working remotely to enable us to continue providing you with the best possible service. We are contactable by email and telephone during normal office hours and can offer Skype and telephone meetings in place of face-to-face meetings.
Can you start divorce proceedings now?
We can advise you about the range of options available to you and the timescales involved, but only you can decide this. We are able to start divorce proceedings online in the majority of cases. There is no such thing as a ‘quick divorce’, despite what the tabloid news might tell you, so whatever you do decide it will take time. Lockdown and coronavirus has had an impact on court timescales in view of staff absences, and whether you decide to start divorce proceedings now, or in the future, it is likely that there will be a delay.
What about the finances, and our home? Can we divide our assets?
You can certainly look at the arrangements for your finances now, but it may prove difficult in terms of valuing certain assets or implementing any agreement reached in the current climate. If you are unable to agree the value of your home or other properties, it may be necessary to have an expert inspect the property. This is now possible under government regulations but, again, there is likely to be a delay. Equally, if you agree that the family home needs to be sold, you will need to think about when to market the property for sale and arrangements for paying any mortgage in the meantime. We have specific updated guidance on buying and selling homes on our website.
If it is not possible for you to come to an agreement about either the division of assets or values of certain assets, then either party can make an application to the court to resolve matters. The court service is currently listing many hearings to take place by telephone/Skype. There may be instances where cases need to be adjourned, e.g. where assets need to be valued by an expert and in those instances delays will be unavoidable.
How can Tozers help?
We have a specialist Family Law team who are still offering advice and guidance remotely over email, phone or skype, with free initial consultations for clients with new family matters. If you would like to speak to a member of our Family Law team then visit their hub page on our website.