As divorce rates rise as a result of lockdown and the financial pressures of the Covid-19 crisis, many couples are looking to separate only to find their plans put on hold before they even begin.
Delays to the Family Court are likely to stretch on into 2021, meaning that judicial decisions may be a long time coming, and increasing numbers of couples are considering out-of-court alternatives or private hearings to resolve their differences.
In many cases, given the current situation, it well may be more sensible to hold back on pursuing a financial settlement or taking your case to court for the time being, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make progress.
Taking a cooperative approach is the best way to lay a solid foundation for divorce, whether you come to a mutual agreement or end up going to court in the future. And one positive of lockdown is that it has forced many couples to use this downtime to make important decisions and find practical solutions regarding their separation.
An amicable divorce is always the goal (even if it’s not always the reality) but this is only possible if both parties focus on the outcome and not the disagreements. The realities of lockdown have, in some cases, helped couples to set their differences aside and get on with making the objective decisions needed to move forward. Priorities have changed, and many things has been put into perspective, highlighting the need for a collaborative approach to dispute resolution.
Good communication is more important than ever for separating couples, given the current economic uncertainties, the possibility of future lockdowns, and the added complications to children’s arrangements and property issues. Couples counselling can be an excellent place to start, particularly if you’re facing an extended period of living together before you’re able to separate, helping you to get to the root of issues that may impact decision making during the divorce process. Following that, mediation, arbitration, and collaborative family law are all cooperative approaches to separation which focus on negotiation, compromise, and positive mutual decisions.
In all cases, seeking the support and advice from an experienced solicitor is vital. They will be able to guide you according to your circumstances, your budget, and your needs. For more information on alternatives to court divorce, get in touch with the friendly team of family lawyers at Frances Lindsay & Co and let us help you take the next step towards separation.