Lockdown 3.0 but what does this mean for our mental health?
With the cold weather and the darker days, as well as it being January, it’s not quite the heatwave May lockdown of 2020. It’s incredibly important to look after your mental health over the coming weeks and months.
We now all know what these lockdown periods feel like; a lonely, anxious and worrying time, but just remember that many people across the country will be experiencing the same feelings as you and you are not alone. For families going through a divorce or a separation in a lockdown, there are many unique challenges involved.
At Unit Chambers we pride ourselves on looking after the mental health of our clients and of our team. We understand that times are difficult and if that means you need a break or need someone to talk to you, we will be there for you.
Child contact arrangements during a lockdown
Under the latest government lockdown rules in England (correct on 5/1/21), children can still move between the homes of separated parents, if the parents share custody of the child but do not live together. If a parent refuses to let the other parent retain contact and there is a Child Arrangement Order in place, then the parent who cannot see the child can apply to the Court for the order to be enforced.
If you, as a parent, are being denied contact with your child, we understand that this can be incredibly distressing for both you and your child. We also understand that going to court can be stressful and expensive, that’s why our barristers at Unit Chambers are making it their priority to work with parents during these unprecedented times to come to a solution that is suitable for the whole family.
Come to us for advice as soon as possible
Whether you are going through a divorce, separation or trying to agree on child contact arrangements, seeking advice and guidance earlier rather than later, can help ensure that any issues are ironed out before they potentially grow into bigger problems.
If you do decide to go to court in the future, the steps you take early on i.e. asking for advice, can show that you took the necessary action to try and resolve the issue before it got to that stage, unless the case involves domestic abuse which does not require mediation.
Talking really does help
Keeping communication and a dialogue open and talking through any worries you may have can really help you feel less isolated and alone, especially during these difficult times. Whether that be via a friend, a family member or one of our team, it’s always better to address issues head on rather than let them build up into something bigger. Rest assured, if you are struggling – there is always support available, even if that is likely to be via a video call or on the phone at the moment.
Your wellbeing – and the wellbeing of your children – is the main priority and looking after yourselves mentally and physically should remain your first port of call.
Our specialist family law barristers are available via our Direct Access platform for an initial free online consultation, so you can get access to the legal advice you may need in these difficult times. Please get in contact with us using this link if you need advice: https://www.unit.law/our-expertise/direct-access/
For further support and guidance please see the following links:
Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance and support – GOV.UK
How to access mental health services – NHS
Mind – the mental health charity, help for your mental health during Covid-19