Marital breakdown does not discriminate, our family solicitors discuss what happens when you a medical condition and can’t attend court proceedings

There is no doubt that the breakdown of a marriage is one of the hardest times anyone has to deal with. The emotional and physical effects of divorce can be pressing on even the strongest of individuals but what happens when there are other areas of your life impacting how you deal with these pressures?

There is a certain protection from the ‘frontline’ pressures associated with dealing with your financial claims at the end of a marriage – you may be on good terms with your spouse and progressing via mediation, or proceeding well negotiating through solicitors, however there are times when court proceedings and attendance prove necessary. But what happens when medical conditions prohibit your effective participation?

Marital breakdown does not discriminate – you may have suffered from emotional or physical abuse, have autism which prohibits you ability to communicate effectively, or another condition that may diminish your participation in proceedings.

The courts have become more alive to these concerns and we now have the ability to make special requests to try and reduce any disadvantage this may otherwise cause.  This may involve applying for evidence via video-link, ensuring there are regular breaks during court hearings, reducing the formality of language used in court, or ensuring you and your spouse enter the court via different routes – the options are endless and creative. For one of our clients this involved securing his excusal from future hearings owing to a condition impacting his ability to attend without significant distress or danger to his mental and physical state.

We appreciate and recognise these concerns and strive to ensure you are not disadvantaged in your case. If you have any concerns about your ability, or the ability of a friend, to effectively deal with court proceedings please arrange to speak with one of our experienced solicitors. We can provide advice and expertise and will aim to guide you through this process in the most safe and helpful way.

Alara is a paralegal in our family team based in Exeter. If you have and queries surrounding the contents of the article or divorce proceedings please contact our team on 01392 210700 or email