Make or Break – Covid has pushed the decision for many couples considering divorce and separation

  • 3rd November 2020

It is a well-known fact that divorce levels increase following the summer holidays and Christmas, those times when families face stressful times together but what we have faced over the last 7 months will no doubt have created some ‘make or break’ decisions to be taken for some.

Three months of lockdown thrust many families and couples into unfamiliar territory. This confinement seems to have forced some people who may have been considering separation to actually analyse their relationship more deeply, many having the opportunity to ‘iron out’ their differences according to Family Lawyer and Matrimonial Executive, Maria Parker, from Hodgkinsons Solicitors in Skegness.

“The lockdown enforced the decision for many couples to separate as the increased amount of time they spent together caused both parties to realise their relationship was over. Clients I have seen since lockdown has ended, have confirmed that they had been thinking about separation and divorcing prior to lockdown, but the fact that they were in lockdown with that person enforced their original decision that their relationship was over” said Maria.

Maria has also seen an increase in divorce enquiries, however, due to the financial problems which COVID has caused for many couples and families, some are finding it difficult to proceed with a divorce at the present time. To ensure Maria is able to provide legal assistance whenever it is required, Hodgkinsons have implemented fixed fees for divorce cases to ensure cost efficiency, accessibility, and transparency. The increase in divorce enquires however, is said to be more so as a result of lockdown and businesses being closed rather than a general rise in cases.

So, although we have been through so much uncertainty just recently, for those who have decided that their relationship is irretrievable will no doubt have further uncertainty and emotional turmoil to go through. Even the most amicable divorces are emotional for those involved. With finances high on the list of concerns for many in the current climate, one of the largest financial decisions any couple divorcing may have to make will be with regards to pensions. The rules surrounding dissolution of a registered civil partnership are the same as those for divorce.

“A pension is often the largest, or second largest capital asset in a marriage or registered civil partnership but they can at times be very complex. One partner could have built a substantial pension pot whilst the other may have not due to giving up work to look after children for example. When looking at the complexity of pension values for the purpose of divorce, it really does pay to get specialist financial advice. Our guide to Pensions on Divorce looks at some of the key considerations that you need to understand” said Forrester Boyd Wealth Management Chartered Financial Planner, Joe Rogers.
He continued “It is very important to understand that a pension is an asset in the same way as your house or any savings you may have built up. Personal and workplace pensions will be taken into account when the divorce settlement is calculated. This is where the joint advice of not only your Solicitor but an independent financial adviser too is vitally important”.

If you would like to discuss how we can help you to make an informed decision during this difficult time, then please do contact us.

You can also read our guide to Pensions on Divorce for further information.


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