The coronavirus has far-reaching consequences for all of us. We must try to stay at home as much as possible and work from home as well. This ensures that you spend more time with your partner every day than you did before. Most people are not used to spending so much time together every day. In some households this situation even causes the necessary tension. Especially for those partners who already had to deal with relationship problems before the corona crisis, the current circumstances can create an untenable situation. Some partners may even come to the conclusion that it is better to get a divorce. But how about that during the corona crisis? Can you apply for a divorce despite the measures concerning the coronavirus to stay at home as much as possible?
Despite the stricter measures of the RIVM, you can still start divorce procedures. The divorce lawyers of Law & More can advise and assist you in this process. For the course of the divorce procedures, a distinction can be made between a divorce on joint request and an unilateral divorce. In the case of a divorce on joint request, you and your (former) partner submit a single petition. Furthermore, you agree on all the arrangements. An unilateral request for divorce is a request by one of the two partners to the court to dissolve the marriage. In the case of a divorce on joint request, a court hearing is usually not necessary. In the case of an unilateral request for divorce, it is common practice to schedule an oral hearing at the court after the written round. More information about the divorce can be found on our divorce page.
As a result of the coronavirus outbreak, courts, tribunals and special colleges are working from a distance and by digital methods as much as possible. For family cases in connection with the coronavirus, there is a temporary arrangement under which the district courts in principle only deal orally with cases that are considered to be very urgent via a telephone (video) connection. For example, a case is considered to be very urgent if the court is of the opinion that the safety of children is at stake. In less urgent family cases, the courts assess whether the nature of the cases are suitable to be handled in writing. If this is the case, the parties will be asked to agree to this. If parties have objections to a written procedure, the court can still schedule an oral hearing via a telephone (video) connection.
What does this mean for your situation?
If you are able to discuss about the divorce procedure with each other and it is also possible to make arrangements together, we recommend that you prefer a joint divorce request. Now that this generally does not require a court hearing and the divorce can be settled in writing, it is the most suitable way to get a divorce during the corona crisis. Courts endeavour to make decisions on joint applications within the time limits set by law, even during the corona crisis.
If you are unable to reach agreement with your (ex-)partner, you will be forced to start an unilateral divorce procedure. This is also possible during the corona crisis. The divorce procedure on unilateral request starts with the submission of the petition in which the divorce and any ancillary provisions (alimony, division of estate, etc.) are requested by the lawyer of one of the partners. This petition is then presented to the other partner by a bailiff. The other partner can then submit a written defence within 6 weeks. After this, an oral hearing is generally scheduled and, in principle, the verdict follows. As a result of the corona measures, an unilateral application for divorce could take longer before a verbal hearing can take place if the case cannot be handled in writing.
In this context, it is possible to start divorce proceedings also during the corona crisis. This can be either a joint request or an unilateral application for divorce.
Online divorce during the corona crisis at Law & More
Also in these special times the divorce lawyers of Law & More are at your service. We can advise and guide you by means of a telephone call, video call or e-mail. If you have any questions about your divorce, please do not hesitate to contact our office. We are pleased to help you!