How will Coronavirus impact upon children and parents from separated families


Prime Minister’s briefing of 23rd March 2020. 

The world as we know it, for the foreseeable future, faces challenges in unchartered territory. Naturally, health issues, the NHS, and our economy has been at the forefront of the media coverage, but parents and children have questions about their relationships.

Everybody, including separated families, has been told we must live life under a different set of rules. In response to the lack of cooperation with our government’s guidance, from sections of the public, tough measures followed in the Prime Minister’s briefing on the 23rd March 2020. Where does this leave parents that live in separate households?

Momentarily after the briefing I received e-mails from parents seeking confirmation of the current position about moving children between households for the purposes of contact. Many individuals have taken to Twitter in search of answers. The good news is that we do have a degree of clarity about how we make child arrangement orders work.

Gov.UK have released updated guidance stipulating that ‘where parents do not live in the same household, children under 18 can be moved between their parent’s homes.’

Whilst it is fantastic news that we have a level of guidance, in turn, a plethora of new questions arise. We cannot realistically expect a prescriptive set of rules, exclusively addressing child arrangements, the law relating to separated families in normal circumstances has taken years to evolve. Common sense must prevail, and this may mean making sensible decisions without being told what to do.

I urge parents to be flexible and work together in these difficult times. Consult and communicate, keep talking albeit not face to face. We have so much technology at our fingertips, use skype, face time and co-parent to the best of your ability.

The most important message I want to share is that as a nation we must be the best parents we can.


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