Law Society publishes new access guidance during Covid-19 restrictions

The Law Society of Ireland, in collaboration with the Family Lawyers Association, has developed new guidance for parents and solicitors in relation to access in the context of Covid-19 restrictions.

Solicitor Helen Coughlan, chair of the Law Society’s Family and Child Law Committee, explains, “The Covid-19 pandemic cannot be used as an excuse to prevent separated parents having contact with their children. This new guidance reflects the position of the Department of Justice and Equality and endorses the practice direction of the President of the District Court.”

“The current health crisis has created some confusion and distress among the thousands of families where children routinely move between the homes of their separated parents every day and week across Ireland.”

“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,” Ms Coughlan said.

“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.”

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