Since late March 2020, the UK has been subject to a government-imposed lockdown in an attempt to contain the spread of COVID-19. 

This has had a profound impact on families, particularly for HNW and/or international families who are going through or have recently gone through a separation. Collapsing asset values and ongoing economic uncertainty have turned  financial arrangements on their head. Infection risk and travel restrictions have disrupted contact arrangements for children. 

More generally, the Court system is on its knees with delays of many months becoming the norm. Delay inevitably favours one party and exposes the system to abuse. A separating party may be able to use this to their own financial gain in financial proceedings. More worryingly, a parent may be in a position to dictate child arrangements against the will of the other in the knowledge that recourse through the Court is unlikely to be effective in the short term. 

For those interested in a more detailed review of how COVID-19 has impacted on family law and access to justice, the link below will take you to an article we have written for the International Bar Association on this topic.