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Clarity on family law matters during the COVID-19 crisis

During the current uncertain and difficult times due to the coronavirus crisis, our Family Law team is here to help and provide clarity.

We’ve answered some of your most frequently asked questions to help you plan for the future.

I have a shared care arrangement with my ex-partner for our children under the age of 18. Does our shared care arrangement still apply during lockdown?

Yes. Since announcing tightened measures on Monday 23rd March 2020, the government has clarified the position on shared care arrangements – any arrangements still apply and the children of separated parents can still move from one household to another.

I am currently divorcing my ex-partner. Will you still work on my case during the current crisis?

Yes. Our Family Law team will continue to work on your case and are contactable by telephone, email and live chat. We have contingency plans in place and the team are working remotely. However, we will not be able to undertake face-to-face appointments at the present time.

Will my court date still go ahead during lockdown?

The Court has issued guidance that as many hearings as possible will take place remotely using technology. 

The Court service has experience of dealing with telephone conferences (for instance, in cases where parties live a considerable distance from the Court). There are currently delays due to the large volume of cases and difficulties contacting parties which have led to adjournments – these are issues beyond our control. The Court has published a list of the types of hearing that can be dealt with by conference calls or video calls – please contact us for further advice.

Solicitors and Courts have dealt with some agreed hearings via letter/email/telephone conferencing for many years, so this may also be an option – your lawyer will advise you.

Can I start divorce proceedings during lockdown?

Yes. Our team is working from home and can take instructions over the telephone. They can also be contacted by email or via live chat on our website. Please keep in mind that your divorce may be processed more slowly than usual if the Court service is reduced to a skeleton staff due to the pandemic. Some of the Court staff are working from home, however Court staff are categorised as key workers by the government. Judges remain in Court though some are working remotely, too.

How can I contact you?

Our team is contactable by telephone (0113 201 4902), email ( or via live chat on our website. The Court service is encouraging the use of Microsoft Teams, however we can also use alternatives for video conferences such as Zoom, if required.

For further information, please speak to a member of our Family Law team who will be happy to assist you.

Gabbie  Clasper

Written by

Gabbie Clasper

Head of Family Law

Gabbie has over 20 years’ experience in family law. She has expert knowledge in complex issues including financial aspects following divorce; pre and post-nuptial agreements; cases with an international element; and civil partnerships. Gabbie is regularly instructed by clients based across the country and abroad. She...

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