LDJ Solicitors

Family Law Q&A during the Covid-19 Pandemic

Post it notes with Q & A written on them

We are still here to help you and your family, despite our offices being closed to the public at this time. Here are some of the frequent questions we have been asked since the Government guidance has been in place regarding Covid-19:

Q – Your offices look shut, so I haven’t bothered to call for an appointment.

A – Our offices are closed to the public only. You can still call our offices and all calls will be answered and you will be directed / transferred to the relevant person.  Therefore, please do not hesitate in contacting us for any queries you may have regarding any family issues.

Q – Will I need to wait for my case to get started?

A – No, we have two very experienced Family Solicitors working from the Nuneaton Office and one very experienced Paralegal working from our Hinckley Office.  We can offer Free Half an Hour telephone appointments, during which we can assist with the information you require which will then allow you to consider whether you would like to instruct us further to assist in your family matter.  Free Half Hour Appointments are no obligation and it is a matter for you as to whether you revert to us with your further instructions.  If you would like to make a free half an hour appointment then please contact our offices and you will be put through to one of the family secretaries who will take all relevant details from you and explain what information we require from you prior to the telephone appointment.  This is proof of I.D. address by photo I.D or Birth Certificate and a utility bill.  These documents can be emailed to our offices or dropped into our post box at the front of the office.

Q – Will things be slower when dealing with my matter now in light of the current circumstances with Coronavirus?

A – Your matter will be dealt with as swiftly as it would be in usual circumstances as indicated above, we are working as usual even though our offices are closed to the public.

Q – Can I still make an application to the Court?

A – Yes, applications can still be made to the Court.  In light of the Government guidance regarding Coronavirus, the Courts are only having parties attend Court if it is absolutely necessary.  Other Hearings are being dealt with either over the telephone or by way of Skype calls.  Both telephone and Skype Hearings have been conducted so far and are working sufficiently well.  Even if your application is urgent, this can still be made to the Court at this time.  Therefore, there should be minimal delay in any Court Proceedings in your matter.

Q - I have a Court Hearing within the next month- will this proceed in light of the current pandemic?

A - Whilst the courts are trying to accommodate hearings remotely as far as possible, some hearings are not appropriate for remote hearings and in these circumstances the court will notify us. These hearings may either be adjourned, dealt with on paper if directions can be agreed or by hearing representatives only. If a hearing will proceed, we will inform you as soon as we are aware and will inform you of what is required of you. However, please be patient as the Courts are trying to work through each Hearing listed to consider whether it can be heard remotely or not.

Q – I am worried about finances at the moment.  Do you offer fixed fees or payment plans?

A – We do offer fixed fees in relation to Divorce Proceedings which can be paid in instalments.  We can also offer payment plans and encourage clients to set up standing orders so we receive regular payments from you on a monthly or weekly basis.  The terms and conditions can be discussed with you during your initial appointment.

Q – How can I get documents to you, being your offices are shut to the public.  I would like to be able to explain them to you.

A – Documents can either be scanned and emailed to us, or they can be posted through our letterbox at the front of the Nuneaton office or by special arrangement at our Hinckley office.  If you would like to explain documents to us then once we are in receipt of those documents we can then telephone you to go through the documents, or we can conduct a Skype meeting with you so that we can see you face to face and the documents can be shown on the screen.  This can be done either by way of a laptop or indeed on your phone if you have a smart phone.

Q – Can I self-isolate with my children, even if this means they will miss contact with the other parent and / or be in breach of a Contact Order.

A – The Government guidance is very clear in relation to separated parents and what should happen with contact arrangements for children.  It is permitted for children to pass between parents’ homes for the purposes of contact, or indeed to abide by a Contact Order.  In the first instance, a Court Order must be complied with, however, if one parent believes it is in the best interests of themselves and their children to self-isolate as a result of any one of them having symptoms, or indeed an individual in the household having symptoms and if the other parent does not agree with this then the parent who wants to self-isolate can make that decision over and above what the other parent is saying.  Please see link underneath which will take you to the Courts and Tribunals Judiciary Guidance on this point.  If after self-isolation the other parent chooses to make an application to the Court then the Court will question whether your decision in the circumstances was reasonable and sensible in light of the advice given by the Government.  If you require any further information on this then please do not hesitate to contact one of family team who will be able to assist.

https://www.judiciary.uk/announcements/coronavirus-crisis-guidance-on-compliance-with-family-court-child-arrangement-orders/

Q – How can I make payments if your offices are not open?

A – You can make payments over the telephone by either debit or credit card, although credit card payments can only be made if they are in the sum of £500.00 or more.  In addition you can set up a bank transfer to make payment or indeed a standing order if you wish to make regular payments.  Our accounts team are available to take your call and assist with payments over the telephone at any time. 



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