June 2020

Divorce and separation during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Separation and divorce can be a painful, stressful experience and now there is the added pressure of the COVID-19, lockdown and all the uncertainty surround it. Added to this is the impact on Courts, which whilst they have been operating, are experiencing a huge backlog of cases. But many divorces don’t need to go to Court. So, if you are thinking about separation and/or divorce it might be worth considering how to avoid the Courts altogether.

Whilst the Pandemic might be forcing many of to consider alternative methods of separation and divorce in order to avoid the backlog in the Courts, there are many other reasons why it’s best to keep a divorce out of Court:

  • You’re not in control of the decision making: When a case goes to court decisions are made based on the law by a judge who does not know you or your unique needs. It’s deliberately designed to remove emotion from the situation in order for decisions to be made making it impersonal.
  • It forces you to make decisions when you’re not ready: For those experiencing the divorce process it is a highly emotional and stressful time. Many are more concerned about how to organise the division of their assets and childcare rather than going to court. So, for many you won’t be in the place emotionally to make the important decisions that court proceedings will require you to make.
  • It can be time consuming and costly: The process of litigation can be drawn out and time consuming particularly if you and your ex cannot reach agreement. As a result, the process can drag on eating in to your savings to make your post-divorce life that much more difficult from a financial point of view.
  • Its stressful for you and your children: Courts are no place for children to attend or be interviewed. It’s not a place for children to witness their parents arguing in front of a judge over custody and contact arrangements. The resulting bitterness can psychological damage children caught up in the middle of a Court battle.
  • It can ruin what’s left of your relationship with you ex: Many need to keep a civilised relationship after they have divorced, especially if there are children involved. The risk of ruining the remainder of your relationship with your ex is heightened if the case goes to court

Though some divorces will inevitably end up in court, there is a better way. Collaborative Practice offers a non-confrontational approach to agreeing the legal, financial and practical arrangements for your separation and divorce. Led by a specially trained lawyer, they can involve other professionals like financial advisors and family counsellors to resolve specific issue. You follow a formal process that results in a binding agreement that commits everyone including the professionals to act with respect and integrity throughout the process. The contract also prevents the couple from instructing the collaborative lawyers to raise a court action if their negotiation fails. This means that all those involved have an interest in reaching a successful conclusion.

Collaborative Practice is a process that works for many couples but not all unfortunately. So, if you have come to terms with the fact that you’re going to divorce and it’s important to you that your children maintain a strong, healthy relationship with both parents then the Collaborative approach might work for you. Find out more to see if it might work for you.

Get in touch to find out how to separate and divorce without confrontation.

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