Christmas Bubbles and Separated Families


Director James Pirrie explains how the Covid restrictions for the Christmas period affect separated families.

Am I the only one who can only read “Christmas bubble” as “Christmas bauble”?

Of course one could go on summarising the rules until the summary is longer than the rules themselves … but these are the main categories relevant to separated parents this Christmas:

Support Bubble: if you are an adult alone or if you have children under 18 on 12 June 2020, you can form a support bubble with another adult alone or with a household which also has children under 18 on 12 June 2020. Once your support bubble is set, you can’t change it.

Childcare Bubble: as well as being a member of a Support Bubble, you can also form a Childcare Bubble if your children are under 14. This allows you to meet up with another household which also has children under the age of 14. The purpose must be to allow your children to have childcare, or so that you can give childcare. And after 5th November 2020, once you have set your Childcare Bubble, you can’t change it.

Separated Parents Exception: This allows a child under the age of 18 whose parents have separated to move between the two homes.

Special Christmas Bubble: This applies to all households allowing no more than three households to meet up between 23rd December and 27th December 2020 in private homes, gardens, places of worship or outdoors. Your Childcare Bubble and your Support Bubble would each count as a separate household for these purposes.

Click here to download the summarising table.

Wishing you a Happy – and jolly careful – Christmas everyone!

For further information and advice on childcare arrangements following divorce and separation, please contact director James Pirrie or any of our top London divorce lawyers and family mediators on E: or T: 020 7420 5000.