March 14

Child Arrangements During Covid Lockdown

Child Access

Many live within families where residence of the children is shared between separated parents. Therefore, during the current pandemic, many have been grappling with regular rule changes and how to keep contact going for the benefit of the children.

Prior to Coronavirus, arrangements for the children as to when and where they stay with regard to each parent was either reached by agreement, or by way of a Child Arrangements Order

The pandemic has changed everything. 

Parents face uncertain work situations and that together with home schooling, social distancing and self-isolation has made previous arrangements unpredictable and difficult to manage.

This means that children of under 18 years of age moving between the household of separated parents will fall into one of the exceptions for staying at home.

“Whilst rules and regulations have changed considerably since March 2020, the guidance remains such that where parents do not live in the same house hold, children under 18 can be moved between their parent’s homes”.

The leading principle in making arrangements for contact between each parent is the welfare of the children, which is always considered a paramount consideration.

In essence, this means that if you feel that your current arrangements expose your children to unnecessary risks due to coronavirus concerns, then do try to reach an agreement with your co-parent as to an arrangement that would minimise these risks. 

This will not mean preventing your children from seeing your co-parent where contact was the norm, and this is endorsed by the courts and the government who stress the importance of parental contact.

It is reassuring to have a vast amount of technology at our disposal, which helps in maintaining contact from a distance using such video toolkits as Zoom, Skype, Facetime or WhatsApp video call.

This a difficult enough time for your children and that they may not be understanding of what is happening. Therefore, it is important to reassure them and show them love making sure that they keep regular contact with your co-parent and extended family through frequent communications in an endeavour to maintain some element of normality.

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