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COVID-19 - Arrangements for Separated Families

Michael Gove has clarified that parents are permitted during this lockdown period to travel between each other’s houses in order for children to spend time with both parents. It is recommended that children’s routines for when they stay with each parent should be maintained where possible and where it is not placing people at risk and with the aim to stop the Coronavirus spreading especially to the elderly or those with health problems.

If you can’t travel between houses, then try to set up video meetings. There are many free apps out there such as skype, zoom, house party etc. that you can use for free. This is particularly important for very young children who struggle to understand telephone calls. Try to agree what you expect your children’s routines to be like. It is likely that lots will have changed with schools and nurseries closing. What are your expectations of what time your children spend on screen time/reading/school work/exercise etc? If one parent is a key worker can the children spend time with the other parent rather than go to childcare? There are lots of changes and things to think about. Communication is always the most important factor in making relationships work.

If you cannot communicate then mediation may be the way forward and mediators are making themselves available via video conferencing. If that is not feasible then a letter or court action may be necessary. The Courts are still operating but are trying as much as possible to work remotely.

A useful link is advice from the Children and Families Court Advisory Service (CAFCASS) ( and for those of you with young children there is a good story about a dog worried about the Coronavirus: “”.

For information on this or any other matter please email Joanna Gardner at .


Added: 26 Mar 2020 15:55

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