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Parents Could Face Court Action If They Stop Their Exes From Seeing Their Children During Lockdown

Parents Could Face Court Action If They Stop Their Exes From Seeing Their Children During Lockdown

Parents who try to stop their ex from seeing their child during coronavirus lockdown could face court action, a senior judge has revealed.

Sir Andrew McFarlane, head of the family courts in England and Wales, has explained children from separated families should continue to visit parents as long as both households do not have the virus.

It comes after a number of lawyers have revealed they've been flooded with cases of parents disputing contact during the lockdown period, with reports that some parents are exploiting guidance to try and reduce or stop visits completely.

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Brits have been told to stay home and only leave for basic necessities (e.g. food and medicine), one form of exercise a day, a medical need or travelling to work if you cannot work from home.

Children under 18 are allowed to move between the households of both parents as long as it's safe (Credit: Unsplash)
Children under 18 are allowed to move between the households of both parents as long as it's safe (Credit: Unsplash)

However, the rules have been changed slightly for separated parents with children. The Current guidance in the UK states that children under the age of 18 can continue to move between their parents' households as long as the children are not being put at risk.

However, when the lockdown first started, there was some confusion over the matter. Appearing on Good Morning Britain at the start of the lockdown period, Cabinet Minister Michael Gove said children from separated families should stay in the household they were in.

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But on the same day, on BBC Breakfast, Gove said children under the age of 18 could move between the homes of both parents.

Sir Andrew has explained parents could face legal action if they try and ignore child court orders (Credit: Wikimedia)
Sir Andrew has explained parents could face legal action if they try and ignore child court orders (Credit: Wikimedia)
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Now, family lawyers have told BBC that some parents have been exploiting the advice to stop visits.

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As a result, Sir Andrew has explained parents could face legal action if they try and ignore child court orders.

"If the parents are acting in a cynical and opportunistic manner, then that's wrong, and the courts will regard it as wrong," he explained.

He also reminded parents that their child's welfare comes first and urged them not to exploit the guidance.

"Do something you don't want to do, for the sake of your child," he said.

Featured Image Credit: Pexels

Topics: Life News, News, Coronavirus, Parenting

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Lucy Devine

Lucy is a journalist working for Tyla. After graduating with a master's degree in journalism, she has worked in both print and online and is particularly interested in fashion, food, health and women's issues. Northerner, coffee addict, says hun a lot. Get in touch at [email protected]