Posted by Amy Langford on 14th September 2020

Now is the time to start thinking about Christmas and child contact arrangements for your children, advises family law solicitor Amy Langford.

Covid19 has had a huge impact on everyone’s daily life and as family lawyers we have definitely seen a surge in new enquires for support especially for contact between a parent and their child.

Family courts have had to prioritise

Family courts were already among the busiest and most backlogged of courts and the Covid19 pandemic has only exasperated the situation. Many courts are working to prioritise cases where the need is most acute for example cases which involve children where there is a risk of significant harm or domestic abuse cases where an injunction is needed.

If there is dispute about the amount of time a child will spend with each parent and there is no risk of harm it is unlikely to be a priority for the court.

Christmas and child contact

One issue which is always a sticking point for parents is Christmas. During this time the court usually sees an influx of applications however with the pandemic this is going to add more pressure on the courts.

Although Christmas arrangements for the children may not be something that everyone is thinking about right now it would be advisable to start to have these discussions now due to the court delays. We can of course help with these discussions and provide advice.

Court need not always be necessary

Mediation can be a helpful way for parents to have discussions outside of the court arena. You can find more about it in this article https://www.thefamilylawco.co.uk/blog/mediation-and-collaboration/what-is-family-mediation/ 

Court should always be a last resort but if parents really cannot agree then a court application will need to be made.

If you begin discussions now and find that you need support of a mediator or a specialist family law advice than please do get in touch. Don’t leave it too late as you may be left in a situation where you are unable to get a court hearing before Christmas.

If you need to talk to someone about Christmas and child contact please do get in touch by email [email protected] or telephone 01392421777.

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