For many, the start of a new year is a chance to look to the future.
It's time to make decisions and new year’s resolutions on what we would like to achieve over the next few months and year. However, with continued lockdown restrictions due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, many of us are feeling the effects of the continued impact the enforced restrictions are having on our everyday lives. Though, for those in separated families, or those going through a breakdown of a relationship or dealing with domestic abuse, those challenges can be particularly difficult.
As yet there has been no indication as to when the strict tier systems or lockdowns will end and this will leave many feeling vulnerable and unsure how to cope with a family law matter should they require access to legal advice.
Our specialist family law team at Wainwright & Cummins LLP, have put together some frequently asked questions and some guidance on what you should do during the current situation when you need to speak to a family law solicitor.
Will you still be able to help me with a family law matter during the lockdown restrictions?
Yes, our family law team have been committed to providing continued access to legal services throughout the national Covid-19 pandemic and will continue to do so during the current strict lockdown restrictions. Whilst we are unable to offer walk-in appointments at this time, you can call us to arrange an appointment on 02070955700 to speak with a member of our team.
Can I still commence with divorce proceedings?
Yes, regardless of the current lockdown restrictions being imposed on other businesses and some services, the Family Courts are still dealing with divorce petitions, so if you wish to start the divorce process immediately, you can do so. However, you should seek the advice of an experienced family law solicitor to discuss your options in more detail.
How do we progress/discuss matters if we can’t come into the office?
If you wish to discuss a family law matter and circumstances mean you are unable to do this with us in person, our specialist family law solicitors are still able to help you. We have put several measures in place to ensure we can continue to provide legal services remotely, either over the phone, via video chat or in the method you are most comfortable with.
Our family law team will discuss with you the most appropriate solution tailored to your legal matter and guide you through any processes that need to be followed. We will provide advice and assistance to alleviate any concerns you may have.
Can I start an application for a child arrangement order during lockdown?
Yes, both the HM Courts and the Tribunals Service have confirmed that they have put arrangements in place to ensure they will be continuing to process applications for Child Arrangements Orders during the current lockdown restrictions and coronavirus pandemic. This means that you can still start an application for Child Arrangement Orders, Prohibited Steps Orders and Specific Issue Orders.
The courts are also adapting to allow telephone or video call hearings in order to ensure that matters are progressed in the event face to face hearings are not able to take place.
If you would like to discuss this process in more detail, or require further advice on an application to the court for a Child Arrangements Order, our family law solicitors will be happy to help.
Can we still progress with the financial aspects of the divorce during lockdown?
Yes, in most cases we will still be able to assist you remotely. We can discuss proposals with you over the phone or via video chat if you are unable to visit us in person. All relevant documents can be posted to our offices and our family law team will be able to assist you in completing the paperwork needed to reach a financial agreement with the other party.
If I am served with court papers during lockdown, can you help me?
Yes, regardless of the complexity of your situation, we are on hand to provide immediate legal advice, and our family law services remain fully operational and available to help you through whatever issue you may face. Please call 0207 0955 700 to speak with a member of our team and we will be happy to guide you through what your options are.
How is the outbreak affecting domestic abuse and their ability to access the help they need?
It is feared that the continued lockdown restrictions have been putting those individuals and families at risk of domestic abuse and violence, even more at danger due to further challenges in accessing confidential support, emergency legal protection or advice and refuge.
Our specialist family law solicitors at Wainwright & Cummins LLP have the expert knowledge and experience to deal with sensitive domestic abuse cases and can provide advice and guidance on matters such as injunction proceedings or occupation orders and we are on hand to guide you through your legal rights in a sensitive and confidential manner.
However, if find yourself in danger; you should first contact the police. If you call the police but you feel it is too dangerous to talk, by pressing ‘55’ after calling the emergency services, the police will still respond. Silent solution 55 is be name given to the initiative that allows people to call 999 even when they are not able to speak. This will mean that the call will still be put through to the police and they will be notified that you are in a situation that makes talking or whispering difficult.
Some other important contacts for support and help include:
- Refuge 24 hour helpline: 0808 2000 247
- Womens Aid: firstname.lastname@example.org
- 24 hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0808 2000 247
- Men’s Advice Line: 0808 8010327
- Survivors' Forum is an online resource for survivors of domestic abuse. The Survivors’ Forum can be accessed 24/7. This is a place where survivors can support each other and share their experiences.
Specialist Family Law Advice
Wainwright & Cummins LLP provide expert, sensitive and practical advice. We are an established London law firm of family lawyers in Brixton and have a Children Law Accreditation from The Law Society, a recognised quality standard for practitioners representing children in children law proceedings.
Our family lawyers have gained that reputation through a combination of our legal skills and human empathy and take great pride in building strong client relationships during what is a difficult time. We regularly represent parents, children, guardians, and family members in care proceedings brought by the local authority.
Contact our Family Law Team
To speak to one of our experienced family law solicitors in Brixton you can call us on 0207 095 5700 or make an enquiry here. Your enquiry will be dealt with in complete confidence and you can always be sure of our complete discretion.
Our other Legal Services
We pride ourselves on providing our clients with a complete legal service, covering all the legal matters that you may require. When going through a family law issue, we realise there may be other matters you would like to discuss with us, and should you require it, we will ensure you get all the advice and guidance you need concerning other legal matters including, financial settlements, child care law, property law and Immigration.