42% of all marriages end in divorce, and the chances are that number might even be a little higher during lockdown. It's not easy to be cooped up together all day every day, even when you're married. If you're considering ending your marriage, here's everything you need to know about getting a divorce during the coronavirus pandemic.
Can I get Divorced During A Lockdown?
Yes, it's perfectly possible to get divorced during a lockdown and many couples are doing so every day. However, it is important to think very carefully before making a permanent change in reaction to a temporary situation; if the difficulties in your marriage are arising purely because of lockdown, remember that Covid-19 will pass. However, if your issues are unresolvable, there is a solution.
How Does Divorce Work During The Pandemic?
The process of divorce is largely the same as it was before the pandemic, with a few exceptions due to any measures put in place and staffing changes. In England and Wales, the only grounds for divorce is proving that your marriage has irretrievably broken down, which means making one of the following 5 assertions:
- One party has committed adultery
- One party demonstrates unreasonable behaviour
- Parties have been separated for 2 years if both consent to divorce
- Parties have been separated for 5 years if the respondent does not consent
- One party has deserted the other for over 2 years.
At the moment, a divorce petition can be filed online, after which it will be processed by court staff. Processing the forms may take a little longer than usual because of staffing shortages and furloughed workers, but otherwise, this is the same as before the pandemic.
Once issued, the divorce papers are sent to your spouse, who has 7 days in which to respond. The respondent can respond online, and then a decree nisi can be sought as usual.
It's important to speak to a solicitor before obtaining a decree absolute of divorce, in order to ensure the financial settlement you agree to is fair and legal. This can easily be done via phone or video.
Seek Expert Advice
If you're considering divorce, it's important to speak to a professional before making any serious decisions. At Bowsers Solicitors, we can help you understand how the divorce process works, as well as what your rights are and how much you may be entitled to in a financial settlement. Get in touch with us for friendly, professional advice and information about undergoing divorce at this difficult time.
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