A five-part toolkit for those faced with family breakdown in the lockdown – Part Four

7 May 2020

By Brenda Spain, Head of Family Law team

For couples who are struggling in their relationship, or trying to manage co-parenting, anxiety levels are likely to be heightened if it seem there is nowhere to turn.

Over the course of this week I have been sharing a series of short articles covering various aspects of divorce.

In this my fourth article of the week I address:


Where parents are living in different households, the Government has clarified the advice on how to approach co-parenting.

Children under 18 whose parents are living apart can move between the homes of their parents, in an exception to the mandatory stay-at-home rule for us
all. But this does not mean children should move around without weighing up what is best – such as the health of all concerned, the risk of infection
and how and where any handover takes place. If one parent is a key worker, then it is even more important for parties to try and reach agreement regarding
the children arrangements, to reduce infection risks.

If for any reason, a child will not spend their scheduled time with one parent, the courts expect regular contact to be maintained through other means,
such as FaceTime or Skype.

Importantly, any variation to current arrangements should be agreed between you, and put in writing wherever possible, whether a letter, email or simply
a text exchange. Guidance says that “the court is likely to look to see whether each parent acted reasonably and sensibly in the light of the official advice and the stay-at-home rules in place at that time, together with any specific evidence relating to the child or family”.

Where there is a disagreement on arrangements, then seek advice. Whether for enforcement or to apply for a change to the contact arrangements, Children
Applications are prioritised by the Court and hearings can take place in the form of video link or telephone.

The most important thing for children is that parents avoid conflict.

Tomorrow, in my final post of the week I will be covering Domestic Abuse.

In case you have missed any of this week’s series, here are the links:

Monday: Deciding whether your relationship has run its course
Tuesday: Progressing divorce in the COVID-19 pandemic
Wednesday: Maintenance arrangements


If you would like any further information about our Family Law services, please contact a member of the Family Law team on 01244 356 789 or email info@cullimoredutton.co.uk.

Please be assured we are open for business, our team are working remotely supporting, helping and advising our clients and we are happy to receive new

Please note: This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.