Posted: 21.05.20 at 09:44 by The Editor
Many families have found innovative and different ways to get through lockdown. For many parents, now spending quality time with their children at home all of the time from their mostly closed schools, has proved a revelation and a surprise delight.
However, as head of Family Law at local solicitors Thatcher + Hallam LLP, Hayley Veale and her colleague Viv Savidis already know, for many couples and families, the lockdown has proved to be an extremely trying, testing and difficult experience.
‘Since the lockdown started, as a firm we have stayed open and have been working normal hours,’ says Hayley. ‘However, from the many telephone calls that we take every day, I know that for many, the enforced living together under the same roof for most of the day has proved to be the straw that has broken the camel’s back in what perhaps was at the outset a somewhat fragile relationship.’
The Family Law Courts
The family courts remain open but are having to work remotely. What advice can Hayley offer to those clients who have either been threatened with abuse or violence, or even subjected directly to violence itself during the increased pressures of living together during lockdown?
‘If anyone has been subjected to violence, then they should immediately go to the police,’ says Hayley. ‘I have to say that since the outbreak of COVID-19, in my experience the reactions of the police locally has been extremely good. What immediate actions the police can then take out are outlined here the A&S website
Help is also available at the National Domestic Violence Helpline: 0808 2000 247 here: the helpline site
Free Legal Advice Surgery
‘What is really important for people to understand, is that they are not alone and that help is at hand,’ explains Hayley. ‘We have been running a free legal surgery for over 35 years and that surgery in its new format is now busier and more vital than ever. We can no longer see clients physically face to face, but I am delighted to say that via our free Virtual Legal Surgery immediate free legal advice is still very much on hand.’
Hayley reports that for many clients, at this stage they simply want to know where they stand at law. Particularly as they live in the same household, even being able to have a private telephone conversation is not always easy.
‘Whether anyone wants to talk to us about divorce, separation, finances, the future of the matrimonial home or what is going to happen to the children, then we are there to help,’ says Hayley. Details of our free Virtual Legal Surgery and how to email us are available on our website here : where you will find a contact form
Alternatively, my colleague Viv and myself can be contacted direct on 01761 409326.’