Most of us have experienced significant change in our day to day lives since March 2020. The public health crisis has left many considering formal separation following years apart, and for others living together during lockdown resulted in conversations being had about their future.

With the Court system being affected, as we all were by Covid-19, many couples are keen to try and come to an agreement on how their matrimonial assets can be divided so things can move forward rather than wait for Court to return to their previous operational levels.

Dealing with the breakdown of your marriage at the best of times is a difficult prospect, and currently this is made even more difficult with restrictions on where we can go, who we can see and children only now returning to school after months of being at home.

There are many advantages to reaching agreement with your spouse outside of Court on separating financial assets, particularly at the present time. Being able to negotiate an agreement in an amicable way is more efficient and less costly to all involved. This is especially so if there are young child involved and the parties are required to discuss arrangements for them going forward. Children will always be to the forefront of any parent's mind and with parents not distracted by financial disputes or discussions they can continue to be so.

Parties may be affected by income disruption if they are subject to furlough, redundancy or a downturn in income for those who are business owners. Thankfully at present there has been positive news in terms of property sales and the property market re-opening, so parties who are in agreement that selling their matrimonial home is necessary can hopefully progress that at this time. All of these factors which would ordinarily be taken for granted now require a more considered approach.

Similarly pensions and investments may be adversely affected by the downturn in global markets, and so whereas previously off-setting of these assets may have been straightforward the parties will want to consider how to maximise their value for the benefit of all in the future.

Taking advice at this early stage can be of significant value in the long term; some government schemes are still available and can be used to secure the joint position with a view to reaching agreement down the line.

All of these matters being moved forward now, while the Court is not in a position to immediately assist, means that as your Solicitor we can negotiate these matters and ensure financial security.

At Cleaver Fulton Rankin we are committed to looking at your individual needs and exploring options which are best suited to you. Lorraine Keown is extremely experienced in matrimonial matters and will be happy to assist you in whatever way she can depending on your circumstances.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.