Life after lockdown

Some couples are considering whether they have a future together after lockdown was imposed upon them following the coronavirus pandemic. For couples who are struggling in their relationship, or trying to manage co-parenting, anxiety levels were heightened during the time that personal movements were restricted.

The remaining threat of a second spike and possible further lockdown together later in the year is for some the incentive that they need to separate.

The family team at CWJ can help guide you through that process if you decide that it is the right time for you. We can provide you with all the advice and support that you need.

For me and my team, being a family lawyer means being there for all the challenges, not just the day in court. At this time, we know it is more important than ever that we are available to advise, encourage and support you.  We have responded to the pandemic by putting in place new ways of working when face-to-face consultations are out of the question, and private telephone calls may be impossible. 

The courts have confirmed that online applications will continue, with the divorce petition processed from application through decree nisi to decree absolute without any need for face-to-face contact.

Similarly, applications for orders relating to children can be made online. Post lockdown most court hearings are still being dealt with remotely.

In China, which was first into lockdown following discovery of the virus, there have been reports of a huge surge in divorce petitions as couples emerge from the country’s stringent restrictions, with one city official in Hunan province quoted as saying that what may have seemed trivial in normal life had escalated for many couples struggling to deal with the exceptional circumstances. 

The no fault divorce is due to be implemented in Autumn 2021. Until then adultery, desertion or unreasonable behaviour would still need to be proved.  Alternatively, and only if both sides agree, they can part after two years of separation.  If no fault is given, and one party does not consent to the divorce, then the period of separation is extended to living apart for five years. 

The divorce petition is only the start of what may be a long journey involving negotiations over finances and family arrangements in respect of the children.  The family team at CWJ can help guide you through this process to make sure that it is as simple, effective and painless as possible.

To get in contact, please call Claire Schneck on 01689 323049 or email

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Although correct at the time of publication, the contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article. Please contact us for the latest legal position.