Child Arrangements during Coronavirus Crisis
On March 23 2020, the Prime Minister made an announcement which put the UK on lockdown to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. This in turn advises everyone to stay at home where possible.
If you have a child arrangements order which means you/your ex-partner must leave the home to transport the children to and from the parties homes for contact then you, to the best of your ability, should try to follow the order.
To encourage effective co-parenting and help maintain your child’s routine, the Government have now confirmed that where co-parenting families are involved, children under the age of 18 can be transported between the parent’s homes.
It is down to the parents to decide whether they feel it is in their child’s best interests to move them between homes.
This includes considering the child’s health, their vulnerability to the virus as well as considering that of the individuals also in those two households. If your child has an underlying health issue which makes them a higher risk to the virus, then it is advised that you follow the advice given by the Government and the Public Health England. If someone in either households is showing symptoms of Coronavirus, then the child should not be being transferred between households for the safety of all involved.
If your contact takes place in a contact centre, then it is best to contact the centre directly to see what procedures they have put in place to support contact during these hard times.
Many contact centres have taken steps to continue with contact going ahead however, some contact centres will close to ensure the safety of their customers and workers. If your contact centre is closed, then perhaps arranging an alternative, such as telephone contact/email contact, would support continuation of communication between the child and their parent. It would be between the parents to organise a practical solution for contact taking place.
If you would like further information or have any queries, please contact our Family Law team on 02392 483322 for an initial free chat about your options.
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