How is Covid-19 affecting court hearings?

We explain the impact we are experiencing of the Government restrictions on court hearings

The Covid-19 pandemic has led to a great deal of uncertainty when it comes to court hearings. The current Government guidance to courts is to work hard to keep the justice system functioning. They are prioritising cases for hearings and changing their working practices to ensure daily operation of courts and tribunal can continue. The courts are being advised to increase the use of telephone and video hearings, but some hearings, including hearings where parties are required to give evidence, are proving almost impossible to conduct remotely.

The nature of some cases means that we are experiencing a reality where most contested final hearings and a number of other hearings are being adjourned. Understandably, the courts are experiencing difficulties in facilitating and arranging so many remote hearings at present.

This is causing a lot of stress to the parties involved in court proceedings or to those who need to issue court proceedings. They are anxious about when their case may finally be heard by a court and those who launched their cases at a time when they could afford to do so, now face a difficult decision about whether they withdraw from proceedings due to financial difficulties experienced as a direct result of Covid-19.

How might a solicitor help?

We are here to assist you as much as we can during this difficult time. In light of all of the uncertainty it may be that many parties are now looking to settle to avoid the need for future court involvement.

We can either assist you by attempting to settle your case outside of court, through correspondence with your ex-partner or ex-spouse, or we can refer you to appropriate forms of alternative dispute resolution such as mediation. Most mediation services continue to run as normal, with meetings now taking place remotely.

If agreement can be reached without using the court, this is undoubtedly the cheapest and least stressful option. For parties who are worried about their case, instructing a solicitor to assist with the settlement process or refer to the mediation service may mean that a satisfactory outcome can be achieved without the parties needing to deal with each other directly. We can assist you in preparing an agreed order for filing with the court, to prevent the need for delay when waiting for a hearing to be relisted.

Contact us for professional advice you can trust

Our specialist family law team are available to provide video meetings and advice by telephone.

If you are thinking about issuing court proceedings or have already done so and would like to speak to someone about the options available to you, contact us on 01229 580956 or email us at to arrange an appointment.

Progression remains open for business with our staff working from home. We are able to provide advice via telephone or video calls.

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