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What effect has the pandemic had on divorce and separations?

Many families and couples are going through a period of difficulty and stress at the moment that can compound issues already present.

This doesn’t always mean that a struggling relationship will end in divorce, but it is not surprising that even the strongest of relationships may be put under strain whilst living under restrictions and possible financial pressures.

A recent Citizens Advice report shows a 25% increase in internet searches for people seeking divorce guidance in Autumn 2020 compared to the previous year.

Divorcing in a pandemic
Divorcing in a pandemic

Pavinder Khela, Family Law Solicitor at Hegarty Solicitors, Stamford discusses how the current situation is affecting separating couples.

What are my options at the moment?

Deciding to divorce or separate is often not an easy or straightforward decision, which may be made more difficult by current living arrangements, financial strains or health concerns during the pandemic. However, if you are considering divorce, it is still possible to receive advice or start proceedings. Our lawyers can discuss your situation over the phone or on a video call to offer advice and guidance if you are considering divorce.

Pavinder Khela, Family Law Solicitor at Hegarty Solicitors in Stamford
Pavinder Khela, Family Law Solicitor at Hegarty Solicitors in Stamford

I am not sure whether I want to proceed with a divorce right now

Being aware of the options available to you and seeking legal advice early can put you in the best position for a successful outcome when it comes to the arrangements for children and finances.

We understand you might not be ready to proceed with a divorce right now and would simply like to talk through your options and understand the process to help you reach a decision. Our Family Fixed Fee appointments cost £150+VAT and allow you to discuss your case and find out what your options are before you decide whether to take further action.

Spouses having their first disagreement
Spouses having their first disagreement

Can you separate whilst still living together?

It is possible to legally separate whilst still living in the same house and this is common if parties are not in a financial position to pay additional costs to live separately. The only exception to this is when applying for divorce on the grounds of adultery. You cannot get divorced based on the grounds of adultery if you have continued to live in the same house for 6 or more months.

If you are divorcing whilst continuing to live under the same roof, you will need to show the court that you have maintained separate lives whilst still living within the same household, so you should not share a bedroom and you should maintain separate lives. This can be complicated to show, however a solicitor will be able to offer help and advice to ensure you can legally divorce whilst living together and help you create a separation agreement if necessary.

What are the options for divorce?
What are the options for divorce?

How Hegarty Solicitors can help

We understand how difficult it can be to seek legal advice when a relationship breaks down or if you are considering divorce, especially under the current circumstances. Our friendly legal experts based in Peterborough, Stamford and Oakham can talk you through the available options to help you achieve the best outcome possible.

For further information regarding any Family Law matter visit www.hegarty.co.uk/family.

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