How has Covid-19 impacted on the ability to get divorced?
The pandemic has put tremendous pressure on UK relationships with even the strongest couples suffering under strain with reports of a rise in marital breakups and applications for divorce, so, what impact has this had on the ability to get divorced?
In a recent article in Today’s Family Lawyer Victoria Brown provides comment on this important issue:
“In my experience, the significant financial strain that Covid-19 has placed on many separating couples has meant that they are looking to explore different, more cost-effective ways of resolving matters.
“In terms of divorce, I have noticed a large shift towards people issuing proceedings themselves using the online portal with advice from a solicitor in the background. The online divorce portal has made it much easier for unrepresented individuals to petition for divorce without the assistance of a solicitor, saving them money that they can put towards seeking legal advice on more complex matters such as financial settlements.
“The pandemic has also encouraged a greater focus on alternative means of dispute resolution, including mediation, collaborative law and arbitration. The potential cost of litigation and the significant backlogs within the court system have resulted in separating couples showing a greater willingness towards exploring alternatives to court, which I hope will continue when the pandemic is over.
“I have also found that clients are looking for more affordable solutions. For example, I have seen an increased demand for unbundled services which enable clients to place limits on their legal fees, provided that they are willing to take more of an active role themselves. Unbundled services do need to be structured very carefully and offered only in appropriate cases, however can be an excellent way of keeping legal costs to a minimum and focussing a client’s limited resources on aspects of their case that need the most attention.”
The full article was published on 18 February 2021 and can be found here
*Disclaimer: The information on the Anthony Gold website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. It is provided without any representations or warranties, express or implied.*
Victoria Brown is a Senior Associate Solicitor in the Family team, who practices in all areas of private family law, including divorce, dissolution, financial and children arrangements. If you would like to discuss these issues please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 020 7940 4060