LGFL in the media Feb 2021

At LGFL, one of our core activities is to reach out to new audiences by writing interesting and accessible articles about family law issues. Alongside this, we produce our own videos, feature in webinars, podcasts and radio shows.


Stay Connected

When lockdown first happened back in March 2020, graphic designer Lindsey Legg realised that there was a real risk of communities and businesses becoming disconnected. So, she created Stay Connected Digital Magazine, an on-trend magazine packed with features from property to fashion, fitness to family. Being a digital magazine, Lindsey integrates live online elements such as music tracks and video to augment the written word, making it a really engaging read.

LGFL have been involved from the very start, with Director Rita Gupta contributing a double-page article on family-related issues. The latest edition, number 5 for February and March, has just been published, and you can read Rita’s article on “Separating responsibilities for separated parents” on pages 38-39.


The Law Society blog

The Law Society’s blog aims to showcase “work from around the organisation and views from across the legal sector”. Mixing news from Westminster and insights from legal professionals, it shines a light on issues affecting lawyers that the public may not often see. Director Rita Gupta is a regular contributor, and her latest article lifts the lid on how the pandemic has impacted on family lawyers and in particular, on the need to adapt rapidly to remote court hearings via video conferencing.

Interestingly, just a few days after this article went live, the story of the American lawyer who couldn’t turn off his ‘cat face’ filter in a virtual court hearing went viral.

Judge Roy Ferguson from Texas was clear as to his reasons for making the video public.

“It is crucial to me that this not be couched as poking fun at or belittling the lawyer, but noting that it goes hand-in-hand with the legal community's effort to continue representing their clients in these challenging times, and at the incredible professionalism and dignity displayed by all involved…. It just exemplifies what we're all living with, you have to roll with the punches.”


River Radio

This new digital radio station will be launching on 1 March 2021, but Rita has already recorded an edition of the Power Hour with Emma-Jane Taylor! Appearing as part of a panel, Rita’s episode is due for broadcast on Weds 3 March 2021, and there is a ‘listen again’ option on the River Radio website.

Rita very much enjoyed appearing on the show, building on her previous radio and webinar experiences as well as recording her own podcast, The Modern Family Lawyer.

Looking for an expert for your next article, podcast, tv or radio show?

Rita and Anne are available to contribute comments and opinion quotes for magazine articles, news stories, blogs, podcasts and more. The Director can also write engaging lifestyle articles on subjects around family law and divorce. Rita is also a lively and entertaining expert for radio talk shows, podcasts and TV documentaries. Just contact us with your requirements or to discuss your latest media project.

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mother an children home schooling

If you are a single parent with children, you will know the challenges of lockdown 3.0 all too well. The endless juggling of working from home with video calls, child care when you need to be in the office, home schooling for children of different ages, food to be shopped for (without the kids), the list goes on. All at a time when you may be mourning the loss of your relationship and a significant change in circumstances.

For many single parents, lockdown is having a significant economic and social effect even if you are employed and working from home. You may be cash rich in terms of income / salary, but time poor in terms of enough hours in the day to do everything. You have limited options for others to take on childcare, and grandparents can’t do what they used to either. In short, you need help.


Compassionate co-parenting

This is where effective and compassionate co-parenting can click in. As separated parents, in most cases you have shared parental responsibility that covers issues such as education. You may not live together anymore, but you still need to maintain contact with your ex for the children. Many separated couples with children have child arrangement orders in place that specify who sees the children and when.

As LGFL Managing Director Rita Gupta says:

“At this stage, it is important for both parents to take responsibility for the children, their care and their schooling during the pandemic and a national lockdown. Everyone is impacted by the current situation in different ways, and it is unfair for one parent to feel more pressure than the others.

We also need to be mindful of creating ‘good cop, bad cop’ parenting. This is where one parent is responsible for the homework and basic care, and the other parent leads all the fun activities. Sharing home schooling and activities can help prevent that, and build strong bonds with your child. Also the children will benefit from the different skills and knowledge of their parents.

Finally it sends the children an all-important message that both parents are in agreement when it comes to their education.”


Freedom of movement

A recent statement from the Rt. Hon. Sir Andrew McFarlane, President of the Family Division said that there can be flexibility in child arrangements, given the current circumstances.

“The expectation must be that parents will care for children by acting sensibly and safely when making decisions regarding the arrangements for their child and deciding where and with whom their child spends time.”

Under the lockdown 3.0 rules, children of separated parents are allowed to move freely between homes as required. This allows you as co-parents to put aside your differences over the next six weeks and work together for the benefit and wellbeing of your children on two key areas of concern.

Home schooling

Converting your home into a full-time school is no simple task. It also requires a shift in mindset. There is great advice in this realistic article on how to approach home schooling and “ideas to help children learn that you can fit around the edges of working from home.”
Home schooling tips

You need space for your children to sit down and work, and access their online classroom portals and lessons via the internet. To achieve this, you need a reliable connection and sufficient bandwidth and data allowance to cope with live video lessons.

This is where so many families are struggling at present. Where you live will inevitably dictate the maximum broadband speed you can achieve. So, if the non-resident parent has the faster connection, or needs less of their bandwidth for work, it may make sense for the children to work from that home. This is a good explanation of broadband, data and bandwidth:
Broadband and bandwidth

For single parents with no fixed broadband and who rely on mobile data, your provider can temporarily increase your mobile data allowance so children can watch lessons online via a mobile device.
Get help with tech

The BBC has scheduled new online lessons on TV channels that do not require an internet connect. Morning lessons for primary school age children are on CBBC, lessons for secondary children are on BBC 2, and BBC Bitesize is available on iPlayer.
BBC education
There are lots more online resources listed on this article too:
BBC technology news

The BBC Teach channel on YouTube features lots of lessons if you want to top up teaching from your school. For example, The Maths Show is designed for GCSE level pupils:
Maths Show

Your children need devices to work on such as laptops or tablets. If you do not have access to these, your school should be able to provide one under a Dept. of Education scheme.
Get laptops scheme

Again, this is a time to share as a co-parent if you have a device that you don’t use much, and the kids have nothing suitable. Various charities may also able to help, such as your local Lions. (If you are lucky enough to have spare devices, please consider donating them.)
Lions computer help

Need inspiration for educational activities that don’t rely on the internet? Families magazine has done a lot of the work for you in their latest edition:
Families magazine

By sharing home schooling responsibilities, your children will also benefit from two sets of knowledge and life skills as part of home schooling by both parents. In turn, each of you can have free time to concentrate on your own life and work.


Challenges of communication

As family lawyers, we understand the difficulties of cooperating with you ex when relations are not normally amicable. We can write a child arrangement letter that covers the extraordinary requirements of lockdown, laying out who does what, and when. It can also set out any details you’d like included regarding tech, such as a loan of a laptop until children go back to school. Call us for details and to book your initial 1-hour consultation with 30 minutes included.

Working from home (WFH)

As a starting point, it’s important to acknowledge that neither partner’s work is “more important” than the others. If you both work, and can work from home, then sharing parental responsibility can give you extra space and time you need to work.

If you are expected or required to work from home, your employer should provide the technology you require.

“Employers should take every possible step to facilitate their employees working from home, including providing suitable IT and equipment to enable remote working.”

Employers might be willing to help boost your level of connectivity and data so home schooling is possible, as this will benefit your productivity and availability overall.
ACAS working from home

For many WFH parents with access, the biggest issue is sharing the bandwidth with children home schooling. According to a report, the average 30-minute live video lesson chews through 250Mb of data. The same will apply for your own Zoom calls for work too. For parents on a monthly data limit, the entire allowance could be gone in a few days.

Again, it’s worth contacting your service provider and asking for a temporary increase in your data allowance to cover home schooling and working, or looking for a better deal. Do bear in mind, however, that with so many children studying online, broadband speeds may be slower than expected/advertised.
Unlimited data

Space is also important, as is privacy. Amusing though it may be to have the kids crashing in on a business call dressed only in a superhero cape and a smile, it may not prove popular with colleagues and employers. Co-parenting can allow you both to schedule video meetings when Superman and his crew are being home schooled, taking exercise, or making lunch with their other parent. See the article below for hints on how to work better from home and give yourself more time.
Work from home tips


Communications, mediation and collaborative law

As family lawyers, we are able to assist with child arrangement letters and if required, mediated online meetings to sort out issues without the need to go to court. Call us to book your initial 1-hour online consultation with 30 minutes included free, to discuss your situation and practical solutions.

lockdown 2021

As a recently separated or divorced parent, you may be worried about how lockdown might affect existing child arrangements and/or access to your children in the coming weeks.

The good news is that important lessons have been learnt from the previous two lockdown, and the latest rules are more in tune and sympathetic towards modern family life than before.

With this in mind, we have written this article to address some of the most commonly faced issues for family clients.


Child Care Arrangements

Children can move freely between homes of their divorced and separated parents. If your child arrangements include children living at your home and at your ex partner’s home too, the children can move freely between both homes. You do not need to form a support bubble with your ex.


Compliance with a Child Arrangements Order (CAO)

The lockdown rules allow parents to continue with co-parenting arrangements within the scope of the guidelines. As The Rt. Hon. Sir Andrew McFarlane, President of the Family Division and Head of Family Justice said:

“The expectation must be that parents will care for children by acting sensibly and safely when making decisions regarding the arrangements for their child and deciding where and with whom their child spends time.”

In essence, this means that your child arrangements can be varied due to Coronavirus restrictions, but any variation must be in the spirit of the order. The aim should always be to make “safe alternative arrangements for the child”. Do bear in mind that just because you can vary child arrangements, it doesn’t mean you should. As parents, you can both be called up by the court to explain your decisions. Remember, the welfare of the child is always paramount.

The current situation will inevitably involve you communicating with your ex, for example to establish the health of each household, results of any COVID tests or self-isolation requirements, and minimise the risk of infection. If such communication is problematic for you, call us. We can advise on key areas of disagreement, and if necessary, send correspondence to try and settle the issue. Call us to discuss your situation in your online 1-hour initial consultation with 30 minutes included free (terms and conditions apply).

Forming a support bubble

Becoming a single parent for the first time during a lockdown is especially hard. If you are separated, divorced, or just currently single, you can form a support bubble with one other local household, if:

  • you have a child aged one or under


  • you are a single parent with children aged under 18


  • you live by yourself

You can stay overnight with your support bubble household.


Childcare bubbles

Childcare bubbles are different from support bubbles. If you have children under the age of 14, you can form a childcare bubble to either provide or receive childcare from one other household. However, this is NOT a social bubble, and you “must” avoid seeing childcare and support bubbles together. Nannies are able to continue working in your home. If eligible, you can access registered childcare and activities if your child is Reception age or younger, or is vulnerable, or you are a critical worker.



All schools in England are currently closed, except for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers. Students will be taught remotely until February half term. (We’ll be writing a blog on the challenges of home schooling with limited access to tech and broadband, with a list of resources for help.) Nurseries and childcare are open for pre-school/early years children


Domestic abuse protection

The guidance is very clear: “You may leave home, to avoid injury or illness or to escape risk of harm (such as domestic abuse).”

If you are experiencing domestic violence, the time to act is NOW.

Remember, domestic abuse includes coercive abuse and control. You can approach your child’s school under the ‘vulnerable’ category to ensure your child can attend in person, to ensure they are not exposed to the abuse.

Court proceedings

Courts in England and Wales are operating a dual system, with some cases being heard remotely via video links, and some being heard in person in a courtroom, albeit quite rare at the moment. At LGFL, we have the experience and technology to deal with all remote hearings. You are permitted to travel to a court hearing in person, and adult citizens will continue to be called up for jury service.


Working from home

The government rules state that: “Employers should take every possible step to facilitate their employees working from home, including providing suitable IT and equipment to enable remote working.” It is worth talking to your employer to discuss providing robust tech that is also available for home schooling, in that you cannot work if the kids are using the bandwidth for online classes. You might need to talk to your employer about flexible working hours too if you are also dealing with childcare / home schooling, or an ongoing divorce or family law case.

If you are newly single, this may be a challenging task. Speaking to your ex partner about sharing this responsibility may help, especially over the next few weeks.


Selling your home

If you are selling your home as part of or as the result of a divorce, you can still sell and move during this lockdown. Estate agents, letting agents and removal firms are open for business, and you can view properties in person, subject to the usual social distancing rules.  Be prepared that a house move could take longer due to changes in working methods for those involved, such as surveyors and new homes sales teams. Also be aware that the current guidance on home movingstates: “It may become necessary to pause all home moves locally or nationally for a short period of time to manage the spread of coronavirus.” 

If you are getting divorced or are separating, the sale of your former matrimonial home can be one of your biggest worries. Remember also that there are stamp duty incentives currently in place. Up until 31st March 2021, you won't pay any stamp duty when selling your main residence for up to £500,000. Above £500,000 stamp duty is due at varying rates - there’s a handy stamp duty calculator at Money Saving Expert.

This reduced rate could be a strong incentive to stop matters drifting and move on with a sale. Equally, the end of the special rate in April could persuade anxious buyers of your home to complete before that date, despite the uncertainty ahead.

If you are looking to purchase a home, keep an eye on this date too. It offers significant savings and is particularly important where matrimonial finances are limited. At the time of writing in early January 2021, the Chancellor was giving no indications that the special stamp duty rate would be extended.


Legal services from LGFL

During the first lockdown, we moved all our family law services online within a couple of days, enabling us to work remotely and safely with all our clients. So, we are here to help you with any family law issue you may have, without the need to visit us in person.

Call us to arrange your initial 1-hour online consultation, which includes 30 minutes free, giving plenty of time to explore your situation and your options.

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We’re delighted to have an article in the second edition of Stay Connected, the new digital magazine packed with features and advice for those still in lockdown.

In this two page article, "Private Struggles", Director Rita Gupta discusses how lockdown and associated financial pressures has caused parents to assess if private school fees are affordable and sustainable.

Interested? You can:
• Read our article for free at our website (click on the image below to download the pdf)
• Subscribe and download the May edition of Stay Connected at Issuu
• Find out more at the magazine’s social media pages:


We’re thrilled to be in the first edition of Stay Connected, a new digital magazine packed with features and advice for these days of Coronavirus lockdown. Editor Lindsey Legg has set out to promote businesses that are open and “turn a negative situation into positive and memorable experiences.”

Our three page spread by Director Rita Gupta explores how lockdown is putting additional pressure on families and relationships, some of which may already be under strain.

Interested? You can:
• Read our article for free at our website (click on the image below to download the pdf)
• Subscribe and download the April edition of Stay Connected at Issuu
• Find out more at the magazine’s social media pages: