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2021 Update

Published on 8 January 2021 | Modified on 14 December 2022

Written by Stacey Bennett

2021 – Not the start we wanted!

By Dan Brooks

The news of the latest lockdown was met with a look of horror from my wife as she contemplated another “term” of homeschooling 3 children under 9. You could almost hear the collective groan of parents nationwide at about 8.05 pm last Monday as Boris told us we were going back into lockdown.

It wasn’t the start of the year that anybody wanted, and it seems that, what has been a tremendously challenging time for families, is set to continue – at least in the short term.

There is no doubt that all our family lawyers have seen the effect of Covid 19 in terms of the nature and volume of enquiries we are getting. Fear and anxiety, financial pressure due to furlough or loss of employment (or even just that job security for so many has eroded), pressures of working from home often combined with homeschooling…..all these, in concert with the physical lockdowns, has led to an inevitable increase in family tensions and, in turn, enquiries into our family team. These are enquiries in relation to dealing with contact arrangements with children, divorces and separation as well as protective injunctions for those at risk of domestic abuse.

The government and the Courts have done their best to keep things moving in terms of family law matters, with Courts still operating – albeit in many instances remotely – and guidance being issued making it clear that children moving between separated parents’ households should continue despite the other restrictions on movement. The fact that we are in Lockdown Version 3, as opposed to tiers of restriction, does not change that guidance (see link to Covid 19 FAQ’s resource). Unfortunately, whilst there is clearly light at the end of this tunnel in the form of vaccination, that is some way off and, in the meantime, it will be another busy period for family lawyers as we all do our best to cope in these uncertain times. 

Do get in contact with one of our team if you need advice or assistance  01270 625478, or contact us here.

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