COVID-19 and the impact on contact arrangements for separated families

In these challenging and unprecedented times we hope to bring clarity to confused parents in respect of contact arrangements during the national lockdown.

If you can’t reach agreement with the other parent regarding whether your child(ren) should move between households during the COVID-19 outbreak, then current government guidance may assist. This states “where parents do not live in the same household, children under 18 can be moved between their parents’ homes”. However, this does not mean that children must be moved between households. The decision of whether a child is to be moved between parental homes is for the child’s parents to make after a sensible assessment of all circumstances. This includes considering the child’s present health, the risk of infection and the presence of any recognised vulnerable individuals in one household or the other.

The best way to deal with these difficult times will be for parents to communicate with one another about any worries they may have, and what they think would be a good, practical solution. However, this is not always possible. Where parents cannot agree to vary the arrangements set out in a Child Arrangements Order, but one parent is sufficiently concerned that complying with the Order would be against current public health advice, then that parent may exercise their parental responsibility and vary the arrangement to one that they consider to be safe.

Although our Family Law Team are working remotely, we are fully functional by making full use of remote working technology to assist our clients; it is very much ‘business as usual’. 

Blanchards Bailey

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