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Covid-19 can’t be excuse to stop kids seeing parents

April 15th, 2020 2:25 PM

By Southern Star Team

Goleen native Helen Coughlan: new guidelines.

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THE current health crisis has created confusion and distress among the many families where children routinely move between the homes of their separated parents across Cork.

That’s according to Goleen native and solicitor Helen Coughlan, chair of the Law Society’s Family and Child Law Committee, who stressed that Covid-19 pandemic cannot be used as an excuse to prevent separated parents having contact with their children and that common sense must prevail.

The Law Society of Ireland, in collaboration with the Family Lawyers Association, has developed new guidance for parents and solicitors in Cork in relation to access in the context of current restrictions.

‘Court ordered access arrangements should be complied with to the greatest degree possible, or sensible alternatives should be agreed to allow parents to continue to have extensive access, for example via phone or video call, depending on the health considerations for each household,’ said Ms Coughlan, who is based in Newbridge in Co Kildare.

‘Common sense should prevail in these situations. If parents need advice on how to navigate this issue, we always advise contacting your family law solicitor. In all cases where new or alternative access arrangements are put in place in light of Covid-19 restrictions we would also strongly advise that these are agreed by all parties and recorded in writing for clarity,’ she added.

• The guidelines are available on the law society website at www.lawsociety.ie/covid19

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