Family Law

COVID-19 - Resolving Financial Issues on Divorce

17 APR 2020


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.

To reach a binding agreement about the resolution of financial issues on separation and divorce, each spouse must have information about the others income, assets and liabilities including pension valuations.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic:
• During the lockdown, property valuations cannot be obtained and valuers are likely to insert uncertainty clauses in valuations for a while after the lockdown ends.
• Defined contribution/money purchase pensions (e.g. personal pensions, stakeholder pensions and SIPP’s) are likely to reduce in value.
• Employers defined benefit pension schemes valuations could rise or fall particularly if, they have funding problems and this is becoming an increased possibility for retailers in the current situation.
• Banks and building societies have cut mortgage deals from sale over the past three weeks and so the availability and terms of new mortgages are in question.
• Furloughed employees and the self-employed face uncertainty about current and future income and even key workers cannot be certain of their income position in the future as there is the potential for tax increases when life returns to normal.

If you are in the situation of having financial issues to resolve upon separation or divorce, we can help you weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of obtaining a binding financial agreement now or in the future.

We can help you review agreements that were reached before these financial uncertainties became likely and whether or not such orders can be re-visited.

Last but not least, at a time when family and friends come first, we can advise you about the options available to you so that you can do your best to resolve issues amicably by agreement.
Our experienced Family Lawyers are available to help. We are working from home in accordance with the Government’s guidance but are contactable on our office telephone number, by email and via Skype for face to face meetings. Please do not hesitate to contact Nicola Codd and Barbara Richardson for advice.

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