As China begins to get a glimpse of life on the other side of coronavirus, it seems that not everyone has been feeling the love during quarantine. It emerged that divorce rates in the country have soared, as couples were forced into spending time together in mandatory lockdown.
With the UK being in lockdown since 23rd March, it is predicted that the same will happen here and divorce rates will surge both north and south of the border. Unfortunately, this prediction comes as no surprise; however, if you are contemplating getting a divorce or are in the middle of divorce proceedings, you will probably be wondering what happens next and how might this current situation affect you?
During the coronavirus pandemic, you can be assured that our family lawyers are always working hard, just not quite business as usual. While we are unable to have a face to face interview with you physically, our team are working remotely from home, which means we are just an email, phone call or video call away.
We also appreciate that virtual meetings can be difficult for some due to living arrangements under lockdown, therefore we will work around your requirements and any restrictions you might have to get you the advice you need.
While court hearings are beginning to be held online in response to the coronavirus situation, courts are mainly only dealing with urgent court business. However, should the lockdown measures remain in place for an extended period of time, it is hoped that more use will be made of remote hearings in Scotland to prevent a large backlog of cases.
It is a common misconception that a divorce can only be settled in Court. Often divorce matters can be finalised without any court intervention whatsoever. Our team can discuss your options with you.
If you began divorce proceedings before the coronavirus pandemic, or you are in the middle of the process, it is important that you keep in contact with your lawyer for any updates on the divorce process during coronavirus. Given the current situation, the legal landscape is changing all the time as courts and other bodies adjust to working remotely.
As an alternative to court proceedings, you might wish to consider Alternative Dispute Resolution to provide certainty and potentially bring the matter to a close. This can also be a more cost-effective method, and it enables you and your partner to set your own timescales for how quickly you wish things to progress. Our lawyers can talk you through this process, should you want to explore this.
Your income might have unexpectedly reduced significantly, yet you still have an obligation to pay aliment to your ex-partner, either because of a court order or an informal or formal agreement. In such circumstances, you might need to obtain specialist advice.
Dealing with matters cooperatively has never been more important for couples during this time. Where possible, speak to the other party and explain the situation to see if you can come to an agreement that suits both of you. If you do come to an agreement, you should make that sure this is in writing.
Only in rare cases would an application for immediate financial support be regarded as an emergency, so communication and cooperation with the support of family law specialists are more important than ever. Our family law team are available and ready to help you. Get in touch with us today.
If you wish to discuss any issues surrounding divorce during this time, contact our family law team today. We understand that going through a divorce is never easy and the current pandemic is only likely to leave you with more questions. The team at James & George Collie are ready to help. We can guide you and your family through tough times sensitively to suit the needs of everyone involved. Call us on 01224 581581 or complete our online contact form.
This guide does not constitute legal advice and is provided for general information purposes only. If you require specific legal advice, you should contact one of our lawyers who can advise you based on your own circumstances.
Please note this information is accurate as of 28 April 2020 and is subject to change as official guidance is adapted to reflect the implications of the virus.