Co-parenting through COVID-19 leads to surge in child custody battles

15 July 2020

Custody cases

  • Child custody enquiries have increased by over two thirds (69%) in the last three months, according to Co-op Legal Services
  • The legal provider says separated parents are concerned former partners are exposing their children to the virus
  • With courts closed, lawyers are taking on the role of ‘mediator’ in unprecedented times

Child custody enquiries have increased by over two thirds (69%) in the last three months, according to latest business data from Co-op Legal Services.

Usually, child custody enquiries centre around access to children. However, in light of COVID-19, it’s evident that separated parents’ differing views about how their children should be looked after and who they should or should not see during lockdown, is leading to a surge in cases.

Whilst, some divorced and separated parents have taken the decision to move back in together, others are continuing to live separately and move their children back and forth in line with government guidelines, which, is said to be causing friction between those involved.

Top 3 causes of custody disputes during lockdown:

  1. Inviting friends into homes without informing the other parent
  2. Differing opinions on sending children back to school
  3. Different interpretations of the ‘rules’ and guidelines from the Government

Tracey Moloney, Head of Family Law at Co-op Legal Services said:

“Child custody disputes can be distressing for both parents at any time of year and usually require court hearings.

“However, given that the current situation we find ourselves in is temporary, we know that many of the disputes we’re seeing may be resolved in time. Our role in the meantime is to act as sounding boards for parents, encouraging them to communicate openly and consider each other’s point of view in order to resolve these disputes.”

For initial legal advice about a child custody problem or a Court Order for a child or children, call our Family Lawyers on 0333 060 2548 or contact us online to request a call back.


For further information contact:

Maya Powell: | 0777 309 6851 Emily Penkett: | 0773 862 1201 Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @CoopUKpress

About Co-op Legal Services Co-op Legal Services became the first alternative business structure (ABS) in the UK in 2012 and has long been established as a market leader in Probate and estate administration and as one of the leading Will writing businesses in the UK. In April 2018, Co-op acquired Simplify Probate, the UK’s second largest provider of probate, cementing the Co-op’s position as the leading provider of probate in the UK. Simplify Probate, which is part of the Simplify Group of companies, has been a specialist provider of probate and estate administration for more than 25 years and also runs an established Bereavement Advice Centre which provides access to practical bereavement advice online and by telephone. Co-op Legal Services is regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.