Christmas Bubbles and the impact on children of separated parents

The unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic has had an impact on the everyday life of virtually every person in the world. Unfortunately England is no exception. The guidance being received from the government is changing and adapting to ever-changing circumstances and it may be difficult at times to understand what we can and cannot do.

It is only in the last few days that the government announced that all Greater London and some parts of Hertfordshire and Essex will be entering a Tier 3 level of restrictions. Although undoubtedly necessary to help keep us all safe, this news is particularly unwelcome during Christmas season, when families have traditionally come together to celebrate and enjoy each other’s company.

Christmas 'Bubbles'

Christmas itself is meant to be a welcome reprieve, as the government has given us a 5-day period of grace from 23 to 27 December 2020 in which to form a “Christmas Bubble” of three households. Whether you choose to take up this offer or not, for many people understanding what it means to have a bubble of three households is relatively easy. But what about those who are divorced, divorcing or separated and have children together?

A “Christmas Bubble” must be exclusive for the duration of the 5-day Christmas period. Once you choose the members of your bubble you cannot leave and join another. Every person within the bubble can only be in that one bubble and no other. One can see the difficulty managing children who travel between their separated parents.

But, according to government guidance, children of separated parents are a major exception to this rule. Children of separated parents who do not live together can be members of two “Christmas Bubbles” rather than just one. This will allow children whose parents do not live together to be able to celebrate the Christmas holidays with each of their parents and their chosen bubble of family or friends.

As such, traditional arrangements whereby children perhaps spend Christmas Eve with one parent and Christmas Day with the other should not be affected this year. The only applicable restrictions may be on travel in and out of a Tier 3 area and on meeting with their bubbles in any indoor venue other than a private home or place of worship. Children can look forward to spending the holidays with both sets of grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins as long as this is done within the 5-day time period and whilst their parents follow all applicable rules in relation to their respective “Christmas Bubbles”

From all of us at SA Law we wish you a healthy and joyful holiday season!

Contact Julie

If you would like more information or advice relating to this article or a Family Law matter, please do not hesitate to contact Julie Cohen by emailing julie.cohen@salaw.com or calling 01727 798067.

Read our latest Divorce & Family Law Views and Insights
Good coverage in private law children and financial work, so they are able to offer a full service to clients.
The Legal 500
Child holding hands with parent - SA Law's Dignified Divorcee
Views & Insights
Let's talk About Family Mediation: Answers to FAQs for Family Mediation Week

Is mediation right for me? This Family Mediation Week SA Law’s Family Law team discuss the benefits it can bring to families.

Read More
Join our team puzzle piece SA Law
Views & Insights
Financial Support for Child Abuse Victims

UK Safeguarding Minister announces multi-million funding to support child victims of abuse in England and Wales as part of the governments Tackling Violence…

Financial Support for Child Abuse Victims
Child holding hands with parent - SA Law's Dignified Divorcee
Views & Insights
Family Law: What to Expect in 2023

In 2022, there have been many areas that were under family law’s microscope, including matters such as divorce, parental alienation, surrogacy etc; but…

Read More
SA Law Personal Services Red Door
Views & Insights
What is Causing the Rise in Divorce Applications?

The post pandemic rise in divorce applications has raised the question of why couples are filing for divorce, and whether some have waited for the introduction…

Read More
SA Law - Lightbulbs image with fillament
Views & Insights
Grandparents’ Role in Family Finances

As anyone with children knows, you never stop being a parent, so it follows that you never stop being a grandparent either.

Read More
One person's hand resting over another's to illustrate supportive legal advice.New Family Image
Views & Insights
The Domestic Abuse Act and Family Law

The Domestic Abuse Act received royal assent on 29 April 2021, but what has it done for victims of domestic abuse, their children, and how such matters…

Read More
I found SA Law to be very organised and – importantly for me – they were very transparent about the costs, something I found very refreshing from a law…
The Legal 500
Resources and guidance during Covid-19

Covid-19: All our legal opinion in one place

Resources and insights from our commercial and private client teams to help you respond to Coronavirus.

© SA LAW 2023

Every care is taken in the preparation of our articles. However, no responsibility can be accepted to any person who acts on the basis of information contained in them alone. You are recommended to obtain specific advice in respect of individual cases.