DATED: 25 MARCH 2020
Sarah Finis, Head of Family Law outlines the position on 25 March 2020
For separated parents in the current situation with COVID-19 the issue of the children spending time with each parent is now a challenging one. Continuing with the current pattern will rely on co-operation and honesty. Even when one parent feels that the other parent is not focusing on the needs of the children, we still must as parents do all we can to support the children. This will no doubt be a worrying time for them.
In situations where there is a court order, you are expected to abide by the court order where possible. That said there may be very genuine reasons why contact cannot take place and the government advice would take precedence over the court order – if there is a need for self-isolating then that would overtake the terms of a court order.
Parents should take what steps are reasonable to keep their children safe and abide by government advice. While the situation is ever changing as at today 25 March the government advice is that children can be taken between their two homes. The President of the Family Division has issued guidance and separated parents should read this.
In cases where face to face time together is genuinely not possible (for example when following government guidance on self/household isolation) then indirect contact should be arranged i.e., facetime, skype, telephone.
If you require assistance in respect of children arrangements or would like specific advice on the above, please contact a Solicitor within our family team for more details on 01227 367355.
All our family solicitors are members of Resolution, an organisation which commits to adopting a constructive and non-confrontational resolution of family disputes.