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11 JULY 2020 • SATURDAY DAILY MAIL


Financial planning & charitable donations London-based family law firm Vanessa Lloyd Platt shares how Lloyd Platt & Co can help with legal issues you may face under lockdown


Vanessa Lloyd Platt, director of Lloyd Platt & Co, specialist matrimonial and divorce solici- tors, has been the go-to leading matrimonial expert for many years. She often appears as an expert on ITV’s Tis Morning and Good Morning Britain, BBC One’s Breakfast and Sky News, among others. Together with her excellent team at Lloyd Platt & Co, Vanessa has acted for many celebrities and, between them, they invented the world’s first ‘pet-nuptial’ agreement (or deed of agreement for pet owners), which is now being used both nationally and internationally. Presently, Vanessa is playing a leading role in lobbying Parlia- ment over the issue of rights of grandchildren to see their grand- parents. Vanessa and the team have created enormous numbers of new cases together, including a ground breaking case for co-habitees. During this lock- down period, Vanessa’s advice across the media has been inval- uable. Here, she covers some essential lockdown questions on behalf of Lloyd Platt & Co.


CAN MY DIVORCE STILL PROCEED IF I AM IN LOCKDOWN? Divorces are still currently proceeding, in spite of some courts being closed. Divorce petitions are currently sent to a central processing venue and processed by way of the central body allotting the local family courts to deal with the matters thereafter.


MY SPOUSE ISN’T PAYING ME PENDING THE FINANCIAL SETTLEMENT. WHAT CAN I DO? In normal circumstances, one would apply for interim provi- sion from the court, setting out a statement containing a schedule of your necessary outgoings. During lockdown, it’s imperative that other methods are looked into to avoid having to attend courts that are very limited at this time. In the first instance, you should write to the other side setting out your needs and asking for the relevant provision that you’re seeking.


DURING THE LOCKDOWN PERIOD, FAMILY LAWYERS ACROSS THE COUNTRY ARE DEVELOPING NEW METHODS OF DEALING WITH MATTERS TO AVOID CASES GOING TO COURTS


If they don’t positively respond, you can suggest mediation or arbitrate on this specific discreet issue of what interim provision should be paid and at what level.


GIVEN THAT MOST OF THE FAMILY COURTS ARE SHUT, HOW CAN MY FINANCIAL CASE BE DEALT WITH AT THIS TIME? During


the


the other party or, indeed, an issue of whether they can go to see the other spouse during lockdown, this can all be agreed readily between solicitors or mediators. If there’s a specific difficulty, or perhaps an urgency if one party wants to take the child to live abroad, this can now be dealt with by a children’s arbitration.


lockdown period,


family lawyers across the country are developing new methods of dealing with matters to avoid cases going to courts and being adjourned. Te first method is known as hybrid mediation — in other words, where lawyers (who are normally not involved in mediation) can remotely assist their clients through the process together with the mediators. Many lawyers are hiring


judges between the parties to have what’s known as ‘a private FDR’ to cut out the court system if at all possible. Tese can be dealt with remotely (with all parties involved appearing on Zoom, Lifesize or other such enti- ties), with the judges hearing the barristers setting out the parties’ cases and giving an indication of how the matter should be settled. Arbitration is also a way in


which arbitrators can hear final hearings to avoid the matter being dealt with through the court system itself (and thus avoid the inevitable delays). Arbitrators are confirming that their decisions can be given very promptly and that they can deal with cases remotely.


HOW CAN I DEAL WITH MY CONCERNS OVER CHILDREN? Children’s matters are mostly dealt with by consent. If there’s an issue concerning the children, how often they should be seen by


For further information, please contact T: 020 8343 2998 divorcesolicitors.com


COMPANY PROFILE


Lloyd Platt & Co is one of the UK’s leading niche family and divorce firms. Established in 1992, the firm offers a wide range of services in the divorce and matrimonial law practice areas. The firm regularly comments on high-profile divorce cases and the latest industry developments for media around the world. The firm is at the forefront of changes in the market, offering


innovative and unique divorce solutions to meet clients’ ever- changing needs and staying one step ahead of the latest industry evolutions. All the fee-earners offer different specialisation within the


divorce and matrimonial field. Mediation is promoted, as well as successful outcome meetings for grandparents. Lloyd Platt & Co specialises in children disputes, divorce,


cohabitation and financial settlements, particularly in the high- net-worth arena — it has been involved in several ground- breaking cases. The firm also worked closely with the Blue Cross animal charity to create the world’s first ‘pet-nuptial’ agreement, a contractual deed that specifies how pets can be dealt with on the break-up of a relationship. The agreements is now used across the country and worldwide.


THE REST OF THE TEAM


CAN I GET AN INJUNC- TION AGAINST MY SPOUSE DURING LOCKDOWN? Tere has been much made in the press about the rise in domestic abuse. Many clients have contacted us with a view to ousting their partner from the home, but these kinds of orders are draconian and, during lock- down, are unlikely to be granted. Tey’ll only be granted where the complainant or children are at imminent risk of harm. Don’t launch into these kinds of applications if you’ve simply had a row and are upset with your partner. Tese kinds of orders are reserved for the most serious cases.


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