Covid-19 What about the Children?
We are currently living in uncertain and quite unprecedented times. Thankfully, the government has provided general guidance on many practical matters including that of contact between children and their parents.
In essence, contact can continue as usual in most circumstances. Parents are able to transport children to and from contact between households, without breaching any rules. As with any illness however, parents are expected to take a sensible approach as to whether contact can go ahead.
The guidance states “The decision whether a child is to move between parental homes is for the child’s parents to make after a sensible assessment of the circumstances, including the child’s present health, the risk of infection and the presence of any recognised vulnerable individuals in one household or the other”.
What a parent cannot do is use Coronavirus as a reason to stop contact with no valid rationale behind it. Cases can be looked at by the court subsequently and these situations will be treated in the same way as if that parent were stopping contact for no valid reason ordinarily. If there is a Court Order in place, this could be treated as a breach of that order.
If a Court Order does need to be varied on a temporary basis, it would be advisable to record any agreement to do so in a note, email or text message between the parents.
If face to face contact is unable to go ahead due to illness, then in order to maintain the contact between the child and their parent, other methods must be considered. Face-Time, Skype, Zoom or other video connections are all examples for this.
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