Covid-19 and rise in divorce

Over the past few months we have seen an unprecedented rise in the number of divorce enquiries with couples either contemplating or seeking to start divorce proceedings with Covid-19 having challenged many relationships

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Covid-19 and rise in divorce

Whilst the decision to end a relationship is not a process easily arrived at, having taken that decision there are several things to consider:

  1. If there are children to think about and how they are to be told – it is best to decide this with your partner.
  2. Consider where your children will live and how they will share their time between you. How will you manage school runs and other commitments for example. Using a ‘Parenting Plan’, which can be downloaded from https://www.cafcass.gov.uk/grown-ups/parents-and-carers/divorce-and-separation/parenting-plan/ can be a great starting point.
  3. Living arrangements generally can be difficult and preparing a budget will help clarify what options are going to be possible and if financial support is going to be needed.
  4. Think about what will happen to the family home noting that the legal position can be quite different for married and cohabiting couples. Can one of you afford to remain there? If the matrimonial home is owned by the other person, it may be sensible to register a Matrimonial Home Rights Notice with the Land Registry to protect your interest.
  5. Start gathering details of your finances; bank statements, wage slips, pension reports and ensure they are retained in a safe place together with the remainder of your personal documents.
  6. If there is a mortgage on the property it may be worthwhile speaking to the mortgage provider to see if they can help during this period in the form of arranging a payment break or switching to an interest only mortgage.
  7. Consider how any belongings will be shared between you. Sometimes this can be straightforward if it is clear you have bought an item. Where items have been together you should make a list with a view to agreeing how those should and consider if your children will need to have them.
  8. Think about which bank accounts the bills are being paid from. Do you need to set up your own account? You may need to freeze a joint account or have the drawing instructions altered, particularly if you have an overdraft facility for which you may be liable for.
  9. Update your personal information including your emergency contacts and next of kin. Review passwords and pin numbers for banking as well as email and social media accounts.
  10. Obtain legal advice. It is important to know not only your legal rights but how to ensure you receive the best outcome for both you and your children. This can mean speaking to someone who can advise on the full range of processes available to separating couples including Mediation, Collaborative Law and Arbitration as an alternate to litigation though the court.

If you have any questions regarding the rise in divorce. Please get in touch with Antony Ball on 01302380225 or email antony.ball@keebles.com

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