Separated parents should use common sense regarding access orders, solicitor says

Separated parents are being advised to comply with court orders as much as possible when it comes to access with their children.
Separated parents should use common sense regarding access orders, solicitor says

Separated parents are being advised to comply with court orders as much as possible when it comes to access with their children.

New guidelines by family law practitioners stress that children are allowed to move between parents' homes for access.

They highlight Covid-19 cannot be used as an excuse to ignore a court order.

The Chair of the Family Law Committee of the Law Society of Ireland has said that the system has been inundated with calls from distressed parents since stricter restrictions on movement were issued over a week ago.

Solicitor Helen Coughlan told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland that there are thousands of children who move between homes every week, particularly at weekends, and as a result many parents were unclear as to what was going to happen with access in the coming weeks.

Ms Coughlan welcomed a statement from the Minister for Justice, Charlie Flanagan on the issue, which she said has provided some clarity.

Court orders should be complied with to the greatest degree possible, she added, but it was very important that common sense prevailed.

“There are alternative ways like Skype or Facetime which will allow parents to have extensive contact with their children at this time.”

Parents are advised to make note of this temporary agreement by text or email.

Where there is a domestic violence issue, Ms Coughlan said the courts are open to deal with those cases.

"Anybody who is a victim of domestic violence should contact their solicitor or contact the courts and the courts will deal very swiftly with domestic violence."

Women’s Aid 1800 341 900; womensaid.ie; Safe Ireland safeireland.ie; Men's Aid mensaid.ie

- Additional reporting by Digital Desk

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