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Children can visit separated parents during restrictions

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Coronavirus restrictions - advice on children visiting separated parents.

Children of parents who are separated can move between households during the coronavirus restrictions, minister Michael Gove has said.

Some parents were worried they would not be able to see their children if they do not live with them full-time.

Michael Gove said on 24 March “While children should not normally be moving between households, we recognise that this may be necessary when children who are under 18 more between separated parents. This is permissible & has been made clear in the guidance.”

The government guidance says: "Where parents do not live in the same household, children under 18 can be moved between their parents' homes."

Guidance from Sir Andrew Macfarlane, president of the Family Division of the High Court, clarified that, while children could be moved between parents' homes, it did not mean all children must keep travelling for contact visits.

It says: "Even if some parents think it is safe for contact to take place, it might be entirely reasonable for the other parent to be genuinely worried about this."

If one parent is worried that moving their child would be going against public health advice, they may "exercise their parental responsibility and vary the arrangement to one that they consider to be safe", even if the other parent does not agree, the guidance says.

Where this is the case, family courts will expect parents to facilitate contact by video chat or phone, it adds.

Contact a member of our Family Law team if you are a separated parent and could like advice with regards to access and seeing your child(ren).