People are facing all sorts of different challenges as a consequence of the pandemic outbreak, and “lockdown.” And those challenges are added to when people are also dealing with relationship breakdown.

We help most of our clients sort out their affairs following relationship breakdown without them going anywhere near a Court, but unfortunately some still end up having to deal with court proceedings.

On the face of it, there is a very big problem for those people who are involved in litigation relating to their marriages/civil partnerships and their children at this time. When lockdown was brought in, all but the most urgent cases were put on hold indefinitely. Whilst that has improved over the last few weeks, there is still an issue in some being able to progress their cases and thus, to an extent, they are stuck in limbo.

There is an upside as we see it: Where a litigating couple both appreciate that they need to get things sorted out one way or another, and cannot do so through court, they have to look at other ways of sorting things out. That can involve taking a more constructive approach to negotiations and thinking outside the box a little. It can also involve looking at alternative ways of resolving their issues – such as mediation or arbitration.

We are being proactive in helping our clients look at other options and have had significant success on that front, and it seems to me this a huge positive as it can remove all of the downsides of litigation – cost, acrimony and delay.

So……there can be an upside for those going through litigation following relationship breakdown at this challenging time. In my view people just need to take a step back and view things a little differently…..