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Will my divorce be delayed because of coronavirus?

14th April 2020

Our Divorce Solicitors are working from home effectively during the lockdown and our divorce services are still fully operational. In addition, the Courts are still open and operating as usual, but they are operating with a reduced workforce meaning the divorce process could take a bit longer than usual.

What are the potential delays to divorce?

Our Family Law Solicitors are receiving daily updates from the Court and, so far, there have been no significant delays to divorce proceedings.

However, there are a number of potential delays that are worth bearing in mind:

  • Courts are prioritising urgent matters (such as emergency applications to the Court to protect a child or adult who is at risk) meaning some less urgent cases could get pushed back as a result

  • Staff volumes in the Courts could fluctuate further if staff become unwell or if they need to isolate, which could impact on divorce timeframes

  • Court hearings for contested divorce cases could be subject to delay. The Courts are holding some hearings by video link but this isn't always possible and, again, urgent hearings will take priority. If your divorce isn't contested, you won't be impacted by this.

Will I still receive my decree nisi and decree absolute?

As your divorce progresses, you will still receive your decree nisi and decree absolute as you usually would, along with any other relevant paperwork. There is no requirement for you to attend Court to receive these documents and these will be posted to you directly by the Court at the relevant time.

Financial settlements and clean break orders

During this period of financial uncertainty, some couples might choose to wait to settle their financial matters until the impact of coronavirus on their income or assets becomes clear. Others may want to continue as planned.

If one person does want to wait, then it's important that they communicate this to their spouse as soon as possible. Maintaining strong lines of communication is key here to avoid any unnecessary disagreements.

It's important that financial ties are still severed as soon as possible after getting divorced. Without putting a Clean Break Order or a Consent Order in place, couples will still be financially tied to one another and one person could make a claim against the other in the future.

Starting a divorce while you're at home

Providing you and your spouse both agree to getting divorced, the divorce process can be completed by our Divorce Solicitors via phone, email and post. There is no need for you to come to our offices or to go to Court.

We can provide full support and guidance remotely, handling all paperwork on your behalf and submitting your application directly to the Court using their online portal.