Financial Settlement During Coronavirus Divorce: 3 Things To Consider

At Freeman Jones Solicitors Chester, we understand that as a result of the current Coronavirus pandemic and the associated government guidance concerning social distancing and isolation, our clients have a lot on their minds, including financial settlement during coronavirus divorce.

However, whilst you may have different and ever-changing priorities such as adapting to working remotely from home and worrying about the health and well being of loved ones, you may find that your previous difficulties continue to resurface, including the breakdown of your marriage, the progression of your divorce and the reaching of a financial settlement in respect of your divorce.

Rest assured, our specialist family law solicitors have received detailed guidance and briefings, including an update from the President of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane, who has confirmed that our aim at this time should be to keep business going safely. This is precisely what we intend to do to ensure your financial settlement during Coronavirus are not a main worry for you.

1. Financial Settlement During Coronavirus Divorce: The Divorce Proceedings

The court’s involvement in relation to your divorce itself has always taken place on paper (as opposed to in person), apart from in some exceptional circumstances. We have already found that correspondence and orders from the court in relation to divorce proceedings are still being sent and received as normal.

As such, at this moment, there does not seem to be a reason why your divorce cannot progress even during the current pandemic.

2. Financial Settlement During Coronavirus Divorce: Financial Matters

Of course, if the financial settlement aspect of your divorce has not been issued through the family court, we can continue to liaise with you and the other party (or their solicitors) in an attempt to negotiate an amicable financial settlement.  This can also include engaging in the exchange of divorce financial disclosure or to draft the necessary paperwork thereafter.

If court proceedings do prove necessary, we can still draft the paperwork needed to issue divorce financial settlement proceedings on your behalf. At the moment, Sir Andrew McFarlane’s recommendation is that all family court hearings (including those relating to financial matters and child contact matters) should take place remotely, namely by video link, Skype, or telephone conferencing. Indeed, we have already had the opportunity of successfully setting up and organising ‘teleconference rooms’ in order for family court hearings to take place.

3. Financial Settlement During Coronavirus Divorce: Overcoming Difficulties

It is of course likely that the current pandemic will result in unavoidable difficulty in reaching a financial settlement and enforcing/carrying out its terms. For example, when exchanging financial disclosure (either as part of the formal court timetable/directions or on a voluntary basis), both parties are asked to estimate what their net income is likely to be for the next 12 months.

We appreciate that it may be difficult for some parties to predict this, particularly if they are self-employed.

Further, it is anticipated that the property market will slow as a result of occupants not being able to allow estate agents and prospective buyers into their homes for the purpose of valuing, marketing, or viewing the same.

Nevertheless, there are a number of different procedures that we can follow in order to overcome such difficulties. For example, instead of decisions and financial settlements being made based upon definitive figures, it may be possible for us to agree some contingency plans to incorporate into any financial settlement reached and so that a consent order (the document drafted to formally record the financial settlement) can still be agreed.

Our specialist family lawyers in Chester will ensure that any consent orders are clear, coherent and comprehensive in order to provide for a number of alternative outcomes if necessary.

Regardless of the circumstances, our family team at Freeman Jones Solicitors Chester will always be here to support you in your financial settlement during Coronavirus divorce or any other aspect of family law.

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