Family life continues despite Covid19, reports Amanda Holland, Senior Associate in the Family Team at Sydney Mitchell LLP. Throughout the Coronavirus crisis the family team has been there to help with whatever family issues have arisen. Sydney Mitchell LLP has adapted to the needs of its clients and the demands of the court.

FAMILY LAW FAQS

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions the team have faced and brief answers.

How can I contact my lawyer?

We can be contacted by telephone and email. Meetings can take place by video calls.

Can I see my children?

The simple answer is yes. Early on in the crisis the Government set out guidelines for children moving between parents’ homes.

My ex-partner will not let me see my children. Can I still issue my application?

Yes. The court has remained open, although most hearings are still being dealt with by telephone or video calls.  We receive weekly updates from the courts and many courts are now re-opening for face to face hearings or hybrid hearings where some parties are in court and some parties take part by video link to ensure social distancing.

The contact centre is closed. How can I see my children?

Although contact centres have not been open for face to face meetings between parents and children, some centres are providing services remotely; for example, by facilitating telephone or video contact between parents and children. We know this does not replace face to face contact, but being able to spend time with your child is vital in these confusing times and lots of children have become used to spending time with family over video calls.

What is happening with my divorce petition?

Although, initially the court was slow to issue divorce petitions, they are now working through the backlog.

What is happening with my financial application?

The court has continued to deal with financial applications. We have had telephone hearings and video hearings.  Applications which were issued during lockdown are now being processed.

How can I protect assets?

The court can still make orders to freeze assets or prevent the disposal of assets.

My spouse/partner has been abusive towards me. Can I get help?

The court is able to deal with urgent applications including orders to protect you from domestic abuse.

If you would like help  or guidance on a family law matter, contact Amanda (a.holland@sydneymitchell.co.uk)  or call Amanda or one of our family team on 0808 166 8827



 

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