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Divorce During Covid

View profile for Phil Thomas
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As family solicitors specialising in divorce law we have seen a marked increase in the number of clients seeking a divorce during the pandemic.

Lately the number of divorce enquiries has increased significantly as the two issues are closely linked; this is often because couples who have been experiencing marital issues have found the close proximity of lockdown to have exasperated existing marital problems, in addition, the financial impact of the pandemic has resulted in redundancies, job uncertainties and furlough which has placed additional financial strain upon marriages and civil partnerships. These issues have unfortunately led to an overall increase in couples seeking to separate.

What Clients Want?

The majority of clients wish to divorce as quickly as possible, this is even more of a priority at present as married couples going through separation are often living together in the same property. This is largely due to the fact that restrictions and financial uncertainties have made it difficult for parties to physically separate by one party moving out of the family home. 

Many clients also wish for the process to be as amicable as possible, as parties are often living with one another under difficult circumstances and don’t wish for the issues to escalate. In addition, clients may wish to keep matters civil for the sake of any children. There has therefore been a large increase in couples seeking ‘No-Fault’ divorce to avoid confrontation. 

In terms of costs, clients want clarity regarding legal fees up front with no hidden charges or surprises. To this end ,clients are predominately seeking fixed fee legal services.

What We Offer?

At present, Parliament has yet to bring in No-Fault divorce, therefore parties still have to divorce one another on the basis of one party being at fault (adultery or behaviour), or base the divorce on one of the separation grounds, which sadly don’t apply until at least 2 years of separation has taken place. Of course in cases where parties have only recently separated the separation grounds will not apply. 

Our aim is to petition for a divorce on the basis of separation wherever possible, but if this is not possible we can petition for a divorce using ‘unreasonable behaviour’, but we draft such allegations in a reasonable and amicable manner. To achieve this we use non-inflammatory language, and can provide the draft papers to the other spouse in advance of sending the divorce documents to the court. This helps reduce hostility and allows parties to reach compromises before commencing the divorce, this greatly reduces animosity between parties and also helps speed up the process.

Whilst most divorces take place using papers based applications we are able to deal with the majority of our divorce applications online, thus simplifying the process and in a majority of cases, speeding up the divorce considerably. 

Costs for Divorce

In these economically uncertain times clients want to know about costs up front to allow them to budget for legal fees and to compare law firms to help them to pick the right one. We understand that concern and so to assist clients we are able to offer our divorce service on a fixed fee basis of £400.00 plus VAT of £80.00, giving total legal costs of £480.00, plus any disbursements such as Court fees or process server fees. Our competitive fixed fee divorce service is subject to our terms and conditions and we would be happy to discuss in detail.

For any enquiries on divorce or any other family related issue then please contact our Bristol office on 0117 909 4482 or email us on