How Coronavirus has Affected Family Issues

Our Mark Perrett answers the question of 'How is Coronavirus affecting Family Law'?

Coronavirus is affecting us all to some degree and its impact may be far reaching even as we move out of lockdown.

There are four Divorce Centres currently processing divorce cases in England and Wales. This is inevitably going to cause delays in getting petitions issued and then progressing them to their conclusion. It is sometimes the case that people just want to bring their marriages to an end and there are no other issues to resolve however it will probably take between 6 – 12 months in the current climate to do this.

If you have not made a will you should consider doing so to enable you to make provision for any assets that you do have (even if you do not consider them to be substantial) to ensure that your estate is dealt with as you wish and by who you wish. You can protect your interest in any property by making a will.

Apart from the delay in the Court’s progressing your divorce what other things should you consider. Usually the matrimonial home is the main asset. If the house Is going to need to be sold, when will be the best time to put the house on the market.  Has the amount you can borrow by way of a mortgage changed since Coronavirus?

If you have investments you should take some financial advice about how best to preserve your assets. Have you made provision with your pension provider for who should benefit should you pass away? Does that need to change?

Sometimes these issues can be considered before and during your divorce and quite clearly at this time it may be that you simply must accept that any settlement may be impacted because of the likely impact on economic stability.

Employment prospects are also likely to be impacted. How sure are you that your job or your partner’s job is secure and if they are not how is that going to impact you? What provision can and should be made.

Mediation can be a cost-effective way to resolve issues between you. How are mediation services adapting to the current situation? What services can they offer. Can they do remote meetings and assessment meetings and how quickly.

This is not an exhaustive list by any means but it is these matters that you ought to take advice about before making a decision about bringing your marriage to an end and what the impact of this may be on your family.

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