New Zealand reports a Covid-19 related surge in Separations

According to the Guardian family lawyers in New Zealand have been so “overwhelmed” with enquiries about separation and divorce that they have had to turn prospective new clients away! A number of family lawyers in the country have commented that the increase in demand is akin to the post-Christmas holiday season which can be associated with couples spending long periods of time together coupled with people making New Year’s resolutions to make a change.

New Zealand has been widely praised for the way in which they contained the spread of Corona virus. Strict lock down measures were brought in with people required to stay at home unless they were shopping or exercising.  However, increased restrictions placed on people’s freedoms brings challenges and difficulties in some couple’s relationships which sadly can lead to an increase in separations as appears to be happening in New Zealand.

Despite lock down restrictions in the UK easing, after seeing what has happened in Aberdeen, it appears that further local lock downs are inevitable and this could place further pressure on already strained relationships.

It has also been reported that the UK has now entered a recession “like no other”. We previously commented that is has been theorised that an economic recession is associated with an increased risk of divorce. This is another added stress for couples particularly when a significant number of people are losing their jobs. The early signs being reported in New Zealand and China indicate that we may see a high number of divorces comparable to the number of divorces that occurred after the financial crisis of 2018 (114,000 divorces in England and Wales).

At Walker Laird our divorce lawyers in Paisley and Renfrew provide expert legal advice in all aspects of separation and divorce. If you have separated or are thinking about separating from your partner it is important you seek legal advice as soon as possible to ensure your rights are protected. Contact our divorce lawyers in Paisley today by calling us on 0141 887 5271 or complete our online enquiry form.

In the same article, the Guardian also commented that family lawyers in the UK had reported “an escalation in custody disputes”. Our family lawyers in Paisley have seen a surge in enquiries in relation to child custody issues during and post lock down with many parents disagreeing about contact arrangements. If you have been experiencing difficulties arrange your free consultation today by contacting our family lawyers in Paisley on 0141 887 5271.

Do not let funding put you off! We offer a wide range of funding options including legal aid and flexible payment plans.


Working From Home – The New Norm?

The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic continues to throw up many challenges. One particular challenge is working from home. I am coming to the end of my 9th week of working from home. I am recently married and sharing an office with my wife has been the first real test of our marriage! Who knew she was so loud on the phone?! I keep joking that at least I know a good Paisley divorce lawyer but I’m not sure that this has been going down too well!

As a firm with over 200 years’ of history we have always embraced change and flexibility to enable us to continue to adapt and provide our clients with the best possible service. With schools and nurseries still closed certain colleagues have child care to think about on top of their usual workload. Therefore, the ability to be flexible is key to adapting to the ever changing environment.

Zoom catch ups with friends have become the new norm! They have also provided a good way of meeting with colleagues and clients.  We have been having meetings via FaceTime, Zoom, Skype and WhatsApp and they have become an invaluable tool to make working from home as efficient as possible. 

One thing I don’t miss is the daily commute from Milngavie to Paisley! It gives me at least an extra hour a day and removes the stress of being stuck in a traffic jam. Then again, my wife doesn’t let me listen to Talk Sport so the sooner I’m back on the commute the better!  More importantly, it will be great to be able to catch up with clients and colleagues again in person.

The enforced lockdown accelerated the need for remote working. Our head of IT, John, has done an incredible job at setting everyone in Walker Laird up to work remotely. We certainly owe him a pint when the pubsreopen for all of his patience.

For certain people, working from home presents something of a novelty but this type of working arrangement has become increasingly popular over the last couple of years with people looking to find the optimum work/life balance. I, for one, think motivation is key and if you are motivated to work from home and are set up correctly then you can be just as productive. Here are some tips that I have found useful for working from home:

  1. Set up a designated work space;
  2. Make a daily to do list;
  3. Maintain regular hours;
  4. Schedule a break like you would in the office;
  5. Take regular exercise; and
  6. Be positive

Businesses have required to move quickly to adapt to the challenges presented by Covid-19 and 2020 has already been described as the year of remote working. Whether working from home becomes the new norm remains to be seen but I think it’s likely that a degree of flexible working should certainly be anticipated with people splitting their time between the office and home. 

It is of course still very important to be able to meet clients face to face. However, until the guidelines change we will remain as innovative as possible to allow us to remotely provide the expert legal advice our clients have come to expect from us. 

We will also continue to monitor the latest developments from the Scottish Government, the Law Society of Scotland, the Scottish Courts and Tribunal Service and the Registers of Scotland to enable us to provide our clients with the most up to date position.    

If you would like to discuss any matter whatsoever please do not hesitate to give us a call on 0141 887 5271 or complete our online enquiry form and a member of our team will be in touch.