Q&A - Is it still possible to get a divorce during COVID-19 lockdown?

Q. This lockdown has shown me that I can no longer tolerate my husband. All he does is sit around the house all day in his pyjamas and I am responsible for looking after the children and keeping the house clean and tidy. It’s not fair. We have been married for 5 years but it has been this way for a while and spending so much time with him has shown me that the relationship is going nowhere. I want a divorce. Can I still do so or are the Courts and law firms shut down? 

A. Sadly, not even a global pandemic will stop couples falling out with each other and unfortunately this lockdown is starting to show the cracks in some relationships!  However, the Courts are still functioning, albeit in a more restricted and remote way. Court hearings are often being dealt with via telephone and skype and things seem to be working well. 

Fortunately, divorce proceedings themselves are dealt with within a very “paper based” process anyway and so there is nothing to stop you from petitioning your husband for a divorce. Based on your situation you may wish to do this on the ground of unreasonable behaviour, which essentially means that you cannot be expected to remain married to your husband. 

You will, of course have to think about the practicalities of ending a relationship during lockdown but I would certainly suggest that you contact a solicitor now, who can assist you with the complex paperwork relating to your divorce and provide the support and guidance you need. Many solicitors are, like us, still accepting telephone appointments and continuing to work during this difficult time to help support families with the issues that may arise. 

Article 20/04/2020

This question has been answered by Alison Peters a Partner with GHP Legal.  If you would like to speak to someone about this or any other legal matter it is still possible, and we are doing everything we can to ensure that we continue to offer our high levels of service to our clients.  In accordance with government guidelines, most of our lawyers are currently working remotely which means you may not now receive a response as promptly as you may expect. Please kindly bear with us and we will respond as soon as we are able. 

Where possible, we ask that you communicate with us by phone or email. If you have a new enquiry, please use the ‘Contact us’ form on the website or call 01978 291456. As a firm, you will appreciate that we are still extremely busy, and whilst our colleagues are well equipped to work remotely, due to current circumstances work may be interrupted – however cases are still ongoing and will be prioritised by urgency and need.

Stay safe and thank you for your support.

Alison Peters

Alison Peters

Partner

A Partner in our Family and Matrimonial department in Oswestry

Nathan Wright

Nathan Wright

Partner

A Partner specialising in Family and Matrimonial Law