Coronavirus: divorce and separation family law

The pandemic has certainly put a lot of people in difficulties – physically, mentally, financially and socially. This can be especially true for separated couples who need to continue to live together in the current circumstances. However, even before the pandemic, some separated couples might have found themselves in no position to live apart for one reason or another.

I find that many couples are already familiar that you can get a divorce on the basis that you and your ex-partner have been separated for a number of years. To be specific, you must have been separated for at least two continuous years and have your ex-partner’s consent to the divorce or otherwise be separated for at least five continuous years.

What you need to know before getting a divorce

Firstly, you should be aware that the courts will disregard any period or periods not exceeding six months during which you and your ex-partner resumed living together. The significance of this is that if you and your ex-partner have needed to move back in together, perhaps because one of you has been made redundant, then you can do so for up to six months without restarting the required period of separation for divorce. It is important to note that this period of cohabitation will not count towards the required period of separation.

Secondly, a lot of people seek advice under the misconception that there needs to be a physical separation but that is not true. It is well established now that two people can live under the same roof but run two separate households. In effect, this means you and your ex-partner live separate lives, for example you sleep separately, you eat separately, you do separate housework and go about your day to day business separately.

There are however other facts that you might be able to rely on instead of separation which means neither you nor your ex-partner must wait until you can get divorced. It would therefore be worth exploring your options before deciding to wait out any period of separation and in turn delay your divorce.

If you need advice or further information on getting a divorce, contact Sahil Aggarwal on 020 8332 8675 or by email at