COVID19 and Family Matters – Where do I stand?25-03-2020
We are currently in unprecedented times and there are many unknowns in all aspects of our lives. There is a lot of talk surrounding business and the economy, and rightly so, but there are still many questions surrounding family matters such as contact arrangements, progression of divorce proceedings and financial matters. Matters surrounding the family are becoming increasingly difficult and the uncertainty may lead to already volatile and stressful situations becoming even more so. Our expert team at James Legal are still here to help and have answered some of the most frequently asked questions below:
Should I continue with the current contact arrangements?
There has been a lot of concern about children moving between households during the current restrictions. The official guidance at present includes that where parents do not live in the same household children under 18 can be moved between their parents’ homes.
This does mean that children can move between their parents’ home although, it will be necessary for each family to consider their own circumstances and for parents to make decisions together. The following link provides some very helpful guidance: click here. If you are experiencing any difficulties in this area, we have a team of family solicitors who are able to advise you.
I have a court hearing coming up, will this still take place?
In Hull, the court have advised that they are dealing with hearings on a day-to-day basis. They are informing parties the day before the hearing whether their hearing will be taking place and if so, whether this will be via telephone or by video call. Where parties are represented by a solicitor, it is down to the solicitor to arrange the telephone or video call. You will therefore need to speak to your solicitor if you are represented or, if you have not already been contacted, contact the court the day before the hearing to ascertain the current position.
Can I start Divorce Proceedings and if I do will by Divorce progress?
The Divorce Centre which deals with all divorce applications have advised that divorce proceedings continue to progress as normal. James Legal are able to work electronically which should therefore not hold matters up. We are also part of the Online Divorce Scheme which means we can submit divorce and other relevant documents to the court electronically ensuring that matters continue to progress.
What about my financial settlement and discussions surrounding it?
As with the progression of divorce proceedings, the court are able to deal with agreed Consent Orders and the issue of financial proceedings as normal. Court hearings are likely to be adjourned or listed for video or telephone hearings. This means that again, the progressing of financial matters should not be affected.
If you’d like to discuss how we can support you during this time, please contact our expert family team on 01482 225566 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.