Family advice and support during the Coronavirus pandemic

COVID-19 Advice

COVID-19 Advice

Additional guidance for the family during Covid 19 crisis

Although it may seem that life has slowed down a lot these past few weeks, our home lives continue and if anything have become more challenging.

When there are issues within the home, having to spend prolonged periods of time in a confined space with others can put increased pressure and stress on already struggling relationships.

If children are involved, we understand the difficulties can become even more complex.

Our family team although working remotely are on hand for you whether via telephone, video call or email.

Whether you are struggling with children arrangements, an abusive partner or financial settlements, we are here to help you through these tough times the best we can.

 

How will the Pandemic affect my divorce progressing?

Whilst court processes and the traditional negotiation through solicitors continue during the pandemic, there may be some slight delays with regard to valuation evidence as a result of experts being unavailable or court hearings being adjourned.

The court is prioritising certain cases for example where there is an urgent element and safety or welfare of individuals at risk.

However, in the majority of cases the wheels will keep turning and lawyers will try to find an amicable and fair solution between individuals.

Whilst each case is fact specific, there will be different levels of need. Some individuals may wish to pause the process given the current financial uncertainty and the significant reduction in assets including pension values. Others may wish to take into account the same position in trying to force through a settlement whilst the assets may be lower in value.

However, for many there is likely to be a slowing of the process as properties are unlikely to sell and individuals pause to consider the effects of COVID-19 upon their business or employment and savings.

For those going through the process now, family lawyers can continue to advise you upon your best options.

 

What about Child Maintenance Payments during the Pandemic.

You may have agreed with your former partner to change existing child arrangements during the pandemic or you may be a parent paying child maintenance and are experiencing a reduction in your income.

How does this impact upon child maintenance?

If you are a paying parent the advice is that child maintenance is a priority payment and you should not simply cease payments without genuine changes to your income and only once you have reported the situation to the Child Maintenance Service.

Currently unless you have a change of income of 25%, a mid-year change of assessment will not be activated.

If your maintenance is however recalculated using a reduced income, you are under an obligation to report any change to your income that again exceeds the 25% threshold.

Remember too that at this time everyone is facing financial pressure and payments may be needed at this stage more than ever. Reductions that could be avoided may have a significant detrimental on your children.

For both parents

It is important to keep good records of maintenance amounts paid.

For help and support please give us a call to arrange an initial no obligation consultation. We can advise by various means including email, telephone and video call.

Further guidance can be accessed at www.nacsa.co.uk

 

Please contact us on 0161 763 1000 or  send an email to 
Jennifer Worcester [email protected]
Wendy Watson [email protected]