Contact orders and the COVID-19 Lockdown

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April 1, 2020 | By Andrew Baines |

April 1, 2020 | By Andrew Baines |

There are many parents who are subject to court orders which regulate the time that their children spend with each of them. The wording of the orders tends to be that the parent with whom the children live should make their children available to spend time with the other parent. How can this work with the current requirement for people to stay at home save for essential purposes?

What is the government advising separated parents during the COVID-19 pandemic?

The Government has indicated that it is permissible for a child under the age of 18 to travel between parents who live in separate households. Parents still have to decide whether their children should travel between households at the present time.

The head of the Family Court has given guidance, indicating it is best for the parents to agree a way forward and make a note of the change of arrangements they have agreed. In deciding whether to change arrangements parents should look to the welfare of their children as a priority.

So, where Coronavirus restrictions cause the letter of a court order to be varied, the spirit of the order should nevertheless be delivered by making safe alternative arrangements for the child.

If parents decide that travelling poses too great a risk both to the children and to those with whom the children will come into contact, then alternatives such as Zoom, FaceTime or Skype can be readily used until it is safe for the children to resume travelling between their parents.

If you need help with contact orders or any aspect of Family Law, call us on 0800 138 0458 or contact us through the website.

Andrew Baines

Andrew is a qualified Family Solicitor and Mediator based at our Bradford office. He joined Switalskis in 2007. He blogs regularly with a particular focus on Family Mediation where he has a keen interest in providing constructive outcomes that benefit all parties in the event of a relationship breakdown. Andrew's profile

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