Covid-19 – Effect on Matrimonial Settlements

The Covid-19 economic downturn, that has long been forecast and is now becoming a reality, is expected by family lawyers to drive queries from business owners about the impact on their own financial divorce settlements. With substantial impacts on incomes, settlements that at the time seemed fair, are now looking unaffordable.

Only in a very narrowly drawn set of circumstances can financial orders be rewritten.  There must have been new events, within a relatively short time of the order being made, which make the basis upon which the order was based invalid.

Based upon cases that followed the 2008 economic crisis things like price fluctuations in the housing market, shares or business values, will not be viewed as unforeseen or unforeseeable, however serious their effect.

However, if you are paying a figure in maintenance to your ex that simply is not going to be affordable in the short to medium term due to a material change in circumstances (such as Covid-19 related reduction in income) then the likelihood is that you will be able to vary downwards the sum that you pay.

Specialist advice is essential. If you have any questions please contact Gareth Reynolds at our Cheddar Office.