The impact of the coronavirus on marriage, divorce and children

The outbreak of COVID-19 (“the Coronavirus”) brings unprecedented times with it, and family law is one of many aspects of life that will no doubt be impacted by this. You may find yourself in self-isolation with your partner, ex-partner or soon to be ex-partner for what might be months wondering what now. You may find that you and your children are in self-isolation and questions begin to come up about when the children will see the other parent.

If you are considering divorce then you may be feeling uncertain about your finances going forward, especially in the current financial climate. However, the powers available to the court are flexible to a degree, for example, allowing for the sale of property in default of someone being able to secure a loan, which may become increasingly difficult over the coming months. Therefore, we will approach your divorce with one eye on the practical effects of the pandemic to make sure the outcome achieved is one that meets you and your children’s needs.

You might have been planning a wedding which has been postponed and are now wondering whether you should still get a pre-nuptial agreement. The answer simply put is yes, and in fact the delay could help lend itself towards getting a pre-nuptial agreement in place. One of the important aspects of a pre-nuptial agreement is ensuring both parties are fully aware of the law and the assets involved. More time to consider and explore this means there is less chance either of you will feel under pressure, therefore giving the pre-nuptial agreement more weight regardless of the fact that your marriage may be postponed for a number of months.

Schools in England will be closing soon for the majority of children until further notice. This means children will be at home spending more time with one parent, while the other parent might be wondering when they will see them again. This may be even truer for children who are stuck in self-isolation. First and foremost, you should follow government guidelines to keep your children safe. If your children need to self-isolate in line with government guidance, then parents should bear this in mind. This does not mean that children need to be cut off from one parent entirely, but both parents should look towards alternatives such as video calls over Skype to maintain contact, and perhaps make up time with the other parent later down the line. Communication between parents is crucial in these extraordinary times.

The key points people should take away from this are to stay calm and take any and all reasonable steps to ensure you and your family are safe. Please be assured assured that we are on hand to offer help to anyone who needs legal advice in relation to their family matters, and Moore Blatch is operating a ‘business as usual’ approach.

If you want advice then please contact Sahil Aggarwal on 020 8332 8675 or by email  for further information.