COVID-19 – Keeping contact between children and separated parents
Now that the UK is in lockdown to try and tackle and halt the spread of COVID-19, many separated parents will be wondering how they can or whether they should comply with the Child Arrangements Order they may have in place regulating contact between the parents and the child or children. Even if separated parents do not have a formal court order, they may have an agreed share care plan for their children and are now wondering how this will continue given the current climate.
The Government have made it clear that one of the few exceptions to the COVID-19 lockdown of movement is children travelling between parents. The guidance says “Where parents do not live in the same household, children under 18 can be moved between their parents’ homes.”
The President of the Family Division and Head of Family Justice. Sir Andrew McFarlane has also issued Guidance on how parents can comply with a Child Arrangements Order and this guidance can be read here.
The important thing is that all of us, parents and children, stay safe and well and try to follow the lockdown rules as best we can. However, parents need to make sensible decisions and balance the need for children to have contact with each parent against any health risks involved.
Amanda Erskine is a solicitor in the Family department at Barker Gotelee Solicitors in Ipswich.