How will the ongoing cost of living crisis, characterized by soaring inflation rates and surging energy bills, impact the realm of family law?
Regrettably, the prevailing economic conditions are likely to trigger a surge in marital and familial breakdowns as financial difficulties tend to exacerbate tensions within households. Struggling to make ends meet and disagreements over financial management are widely recognized as factors that contribute to family rifts
A considerable number of individuals might contemplate separation or divorce but fear they lack the financial means to do so, such as financing two separate accommodations until a final settlement is reached or covering the expenses associated with negotiating a separation.
Consequently, several individuals may opt to persist living together, despite their unhappiness, due to apprehensions regarding the financial ramifications of separation.
We strongly urge individuals to seek guidance regarding their specific circumstances as there may be innovative solutions available. It is also advisable to verify if they are eligible for Legal Aid by visiting the Scottish Legal Aid Board’s website. Making an informed decision during a possible separation is paramount since any agreements reached will form the financial framework for life after separation.
The rising cost of living could have an impact on the work of family lawyers in relation to advising clients on aliment, which is the legal term for spousal maintenance. With a decrease in monthly income, individuals may struggle to pay the required amount of aliment. In such cases, if there is a court order or a Minute of Agreement in place stipulating the amount of aliment, it is possible to seek a review of the payment if there has been a material change in circumstances. This includes situations such as a significant decrease in income, a job change, or a change in the family’s composition. It is advisable for anyone facing such circumstances to seek legal advice on the possibility of seeking a review.
Likewise, the financial strain caused by the cost of living crisis could also impact child maintenance, particularly if one party experiences job loss or financial hardship. In such cases, seeking legal advice promptly is advisable.
Additionally, negotiations for financial settlements may become more challenging due to increased uncertainty around house prices and mortgage rates.
Therefore, it is prudent to seek legal counsel, ideally as early as possible, if contemplating separation amid the current uncertain circumstances.