Maintaining contact during COVID-19 for separated families
For separated parents with children, maintaining contact during COVID-19 is key to the well being of all concerned. After Michael Gove’s unfortunate miscommunication recently, the government has been keen to reassure separated parents that if they have a Child Arrangements Order or a shared parenting plan, it is permitted for children to travel between their parents’ houses for contact during this crisis.
However if one parent does not feel this will be safe to do or they are in self-isolation as a member of the household has symptoms, there are other ways contact can be encouraged.
The use of Skype / FaceTime / Zoom is vitally important in maintaining contact during COVID-19, allowing children to see and speak to the parent they are unable to physically be with. This will enable the parent/child relationship to stay intact and reassure the child that the physically absent parent has not forgotten them.
As parents it is important to try to present a united front and agree what is acceptable behaviour. For example are both parents comfortable with the idea that the children may have to go on the essential shopping trip to buy food?
It is also important that parents are also agreed wherever possible over how much school work / educational activities their children are doing during their time out of school.
If you are a separated parent and you have having difficulties trying to agree such arrangements with your ex-partner, contact one of the family solicitors at Barker Gotelee and speak to us in confidence about your situations and the options available to you.
Amanda Erskine is a solicitor in the Family department at Barker Gotelee Solicitors in Ipswich.