We are often asked to help when, following separation, a married couple have agreed how their finances are to be dealt with and they want to make these arrangements final so that neither can change their minds.
This is a very good idea as, without a court order, financial claims can be made at any time after the first divorce order, Decree Nisi. These claims do not end on the making of the final divorce order, Decree Absolute.
When couples can’t agree how to resolve issues on separation/divorce, most people immediately think they have to apply to the Court.
But, even before the Covid-19 pandemic, the Family Court process was becoming slower and more frustrating for many people. Now there are staff shortages as well as a backlog of cases that are not suitable for remote hearings, using the Court to resolve issues could take over a year (if you are lucky).
So should you consider Family Arbitration?
Here are some Frequently Asked Questions answered by our specialist family lawyer, Barbara Richardson.
Many separating couples are wary of seeking legal advice because they do not want to have to face the emotional and financial cost of court proceedings.
They know that either they or their ex can apply to the court for a decision about the arrangements for their children and/or resolving financial issues, for example whether the family home should be sold. They also know that court proceedings can feel like a “fight” and that even if they achieve the outcome they seek the process can be very stressful and damaging for future family relationships.
The good news is that there are other ways that a specialist family lawyer can support separating couples to reach an agreement and make it legally binding without anyone having to attend court.
For those actively involved in running a business, the additional stress and anxiety of resolving financial issues on divorce can often affect the performance of the business.
The global public health emergency has meant that some businesses are not able to operate, some businesses are adapting but are seeing a downturn in work, whilst others are in high demand.
COVID-19 – WHAT SHOULD I DO ABOUT RESOLVING FINANCIAL ISSUES ON DIVORCE?
The current global public health emergency means that the majority of us are facing financial uncertainty. For many people this makes resolving financial issues on divorce now unwise, for others it may be in their interests to get on with reaching an agreement and obtaining the final divorce order, Decree Absolute, quickly.
How Lasting Power of Attorney can be useful for shielded people in isolation…
Shielding is a measure used to protect extremely vulnerable people from coming into contact with coronavirus by minimising all interaction. They are strongly advised to stay at home at all times and avoid any face-to-face contact for a period of at least 12 weeks. Anyone who is extremely vulnerable should not leave their homes and, within their homes, should minimise all non-essential contact with other members of their household.