Family breakdowns: Negotiating through the Coronavirus.

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Many of those involved in a family breakdown will be having to address issues of co-parenting, separating homes and moving forward with the divorce process during this very difficult time of uncertainty.

For those of you who were finalising a financial agreement or were in the process of productive discussions regarding how to divide your assets prior to the lockdown and uncertainty in the market, this time will undoubtedly bring more unwelcome uncertainty for you.

However, discussions can continue or commence if you had not started to do so. For some this will be important for a sense of momentum. The fundamental principles of settlement – about what you need to house and how to support your children can continue with the knowledge that you may need to have assets revalued once this is all over (in a few months’ time). Face-to-face discussions may be off limits for now, but with modern technology this is no longer a problem. Continuing to communicate, for some, may be important to work towards a resolution.

For those who feel too cautious about how the financial landscape will look once the current situation is over, pressing the pause button may be a sensible option. The discussions can be picked up again when the market is beginning to stabilise, and life returns to some form of normality. Hopefully this is not too far away.

The court system is still operating, with limited Courts remaining open and most hearings being held remotely. The family team at IBB are staying on top of the changes and functioning of the family court system during this time. If hearings are being adjourned, the decision to move forward is taken out of your hands. Again, whilst this is stressful and disappointing there are other routes available. In some cases, private hearings can be arranged (with a private Judge) remotely to ensure things can move forward. Dates for these hearings can be more readily available than waiting for the Court. All party discussions via Skype or Zoom may also assist to help manage the situation and consider a timetable of your own whist the hearing is being re-listed. This could result in a settling sooner.

Whatever you decide to do the family team at IBB are here to offer advice to anyone with queries on how they should approach their negotiations given this difficult time.

Contact IBB’s family law experts today

IBB Solicitors’ family law practice can provide  expert advice on all aspects of divorce and separation, and other family law issues. To contact the family law team please email familylaw@ibblaw.co.uk or call 03456 381381.