Coronavirus (COVID-19) has had an impact on all aspects of divorce and financial remedy proceedings. The impact is found both in terms of practical matters concerning court applications and in terms of family finances including uncertainty about the value of assets and unemployment.
As to practical matters, the courts are now operating in a different way and most financial hearings are taking place remotely (either by telephone or by video call). In addition, as a consequence of the ‘lockdown’, many cases were adjourned. This means that everyone is facing a longer wait for their hearings and when hearings do take place, they take place ‘remotely’. This is a challenge to all of us. The Harcourt Finance Group have experience of all of these issues and can provide practical advice, support and representation through the process. We are also available to advise as to the use of ‘private’ FDRs and arbitration to speed up the resolution of cases.
As to the impact of COVID-19 on family finances, we are extremely well placed to advise our clients as to the ways in which the court approaches these new and challenging matters which include redundancy, reductions in pay, uncertainty around the value of pensions and other investments and the vagaries of the housing market.
We are also able to offer advice on variation and set aside, both of which might need to be considered as a consequence of the changes in families’ financial circumstances which have been brought about by the crisis.
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