Courts Only Handling Emergency Cases, Is Divorce An Emergency?

Covid-19 has changed how we live almost every aspect of our lives. From the way we shop to how we “meet up” with our family and friends, we’re all having to get used to the “new normal”. The legal sector has also had to make big changes to the way it operates, in order to keep both staff and the public safe.

Are divorce family proceedings still going ahead?

If you’re getting a divorce – or looking to start the process – the good news is that “access to justice”, which includes divorce courts, is an essential service which is still open.

However, while your application can be processed, you may experience some delays, as many judges and staff are working from home and urgent cases, such as those involving child protection, are being prioritised. It’s also worth bearing in mind that most court hearings are being conducted remotely.

Most divorces do not need court hearings

The majority of couples won’t need to go to court in order to get a divorce. Attending court is normally only necessary if there are disputes surrounding children or finances that can’t be resolved either by the couple themselves, or with the help of others, such as through mediation (this is available remotely at the moment, through Zoom or Skype).

Should I wait to get a divorce until after the lockdown is over?

This is a very personal decision that you will have to make yourself. However, after the lockdown there may be greater demand on the courts, resulting in divorce potentially taking longer. So if your only reason to wait is that your divorce will go through quicker when the lockdown is completely released, you may find that this is not the case.

How do I start the divorce process during the pandemic?

As a bare minimum, we would highly recommend that anyone considering getting a divorce should seek some initial legal advice before beginning the divorce process. This way, you can begin to understand what the likely outcomes of your divorce could look like, and what you need to do to begin the process. Here at Grayfords, we are offering free initial consultations with one of our experienced divorce lawyers via Skype, so that you can get the advice you need, without risking your health. Get in touch to book your complimentary video consultation today.

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