Second lockdown impact on child arrangements

With the Government announcing that England will move into second lockdown for 4 weeks starting on 5 November, many will be wondering what changes there might be compared to the last lockdown.

One of the main key differences is that schools, nurseries and formal childcare will remain open this time round, with parents being encouraged to continue to send their children here.

Informal childcare is also permitted so parents can continue to use family members to assist with childcare in order to allow those parents to work (ideally from home if possible).

It has also been stressed that just like the last lockdown, separated parents are encouraged to maintain contact arrangements so parents that have a Child Arrangements Order or a shared parenting plan in place can continue to have children travel between their parents’ houses for contact during this crisis.

However, just like in the last lockdown 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 lockdowns, 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?

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 situation and the options available to you. Whilst in lockdown we are still available to offer virtual appointments using a variety of platforms depending upon individual circumstances.

Amanda Erskine is a solicitor in the Family department at Barker Gotelee Solicitors in Ipswich.

Ipswich Divorce Solicitors – for more information on our range of legal services, please call the team on 01473 611211 or email