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Cooperburnett Solicitors Partner and family lawyer, Gemma Gillespie, looks at the impact of Covid-19 on separated parents.

Partner and family lawyer, Gemma Gillespie, looks at the impact of Covid-19 on separated parents:

As a family lawyer with over 20 years’ experience, I have never seen anything like this situation. It is new for all of us and has been exacerbated, perhaps, by some confusing advice issued by the government earlier this week.

On 23 March 2020, after Prime Minister Boris Johnson listed the very limited reasons we can leave our homes, many parents with children in separated families had a sleepless night.

The Rt Hon Michael Gove MP latterly clarified that ‘where parents live in different households, children under 18 years old can be moved between their parents’ homes’.

Where parents are happy to cooperate and both households are full of healthy individuals who are not required to self-isolate or be shielded, this would have given comfort. If it is not safe or appropriate to move the children, parents should be looking to enable the children to connect in other ways, for example Skype or Zoom; noting that maybe if they cannot see one parent now, then perhaps additional time can be arranged later.

It may not work, however, if more guidance is issued restricting our freedom further.

A useful resource is This is the organisation set up to advise the family courts on issues relating to children’s welfare. They will be endeavouring to monitor the situation closely and are following advice from Public Health England.

If you require any further advice at this time, please do not hesitate to contact Gemma Gillespie on tel: 01892 515022.

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March 26, 2020
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