As the lockdown measures gradually ease, we all are transitioning into a new ‘normal’ way of life. During the past 2 months or so, most couples have lived in close proximity for longer than ever before. Some families have loved it, but some couples have found it to be a very difficult and challenging time. Some relationships have become stronger, but many have grown more distant.
For many couples wanting to preserve their relationship, counselling can help them to work through their differences highlighted during the pandemic. For those who know that a separation is inevitable, they should seek information from a specialist family lawyer who can take them through all that a separation will entail, understanding their legal rights and how best to protect them. All too often, it is the fear of the unknown that causes anxiety and sadly, delay in doing so can be unhelpful.
There are many issues to consider, whether to separate or divorce, how the finances will be divided, urgent emergency measures that can be put in place as well as arrangements concerning the children.
Separation is always a very uncomfortable and personal subject to address and clear, confidential guidance is essential.
Until we can meet in proximity safely with clients, most if not all, lawyers are arranging meetings with their clients by Zoom or an equivalent virtual facility. This is a new method of working for us but having done it for some months now, it does work and works well. It certainly saves travel time to the office for the client which in our age is so important.
Before meeting with a family lawyer, take time to think through the questions to raise. Do not be worried about writing them down. All solicitors are used to clients or wanting to work from a pre-prepared list of issues.
If this seems too onerous, just call a specialist family lawyer, and make an appointment. A good family lawyer will arrange a meeting at short notice and will quickly be able to advise on what to expect and how and when to move on to the next stage in the process. Even though the lawyer will not have a magic wand they can still help empower you with knowledge and confidence.
For international families, huge care is needed in respect of tactical planning and timing as issues like the examples given below need to be considered and time given for any appropriate protective measures to be implemented.
Specialist family lawyers will not just provide court-based options for resolving matters. A far less confrontational, more conciliatory, and private approach is commonly possible, albeit the timing for starting that process can be crucially important.
Even a couple of hours or so of advice from a specialist family lawyer may prove invaluable, regarding tactical planning, timings, and outcomes. Such advice is confidential and will remain so even if the couple ultimately decide to stay with their other half. Having said this, huge care should be taken not to pay for any consultation from a joint account, or any account to which their partner has access. Similarly, emails should not be sent from a communal email address with a password that is known to both parties.