UK law

Child contact arrangements in the UK during COVID-19

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Meanwhile, in the UK, the Government started imposing much more strict measures in its plight against COVID-19 that will have major implications and for the lives of families where parents are separated.

Despite initial confusion, the Government already made clear that children aged 0-18 can be moved between parent’s homes. Contact arrangements that are already in place before a Court Order or by an agreement shall be continued—so as to provide relief to parents who are worrying that current restrictions will limit their chance to be in physical contact to their children.

It is important for a parent not to see the current global state as an opportunity to neglect contact. Doing so will result in the Court unlikely to give out favours in the long run, not to mention that this is also potentially as damaging for children whose lives are already disrupted.

While ensuring everyone’s safety and limiting the spread of the virus, as well as ensuring children’s welfare remains the priority, parents generally need to give the situation some thought and how things can work out for their family.

We all must be mindful that it may be necessary for a parent or children to self-isolate. The handover arrangement may need to be changed e.g. it has been to and from school. The vulnerability of other individuals in one household or the other may need to be taken in to account.

The likelihood is that there is going to be a conflict between the arrangement in place and the need to limit the children’s movements—which is why it’s important to discuss how contact with the children’s other parent will be maintained e.g. FaceTime, Skype, or other video contacts can be promoted.

It is not always possible for parents to effectively agree and communicate on an arrangement for their children. If you need help or further advice, do not hesitate to reach out.

Some UK firms, like Wilson Nesbitt, have a crisis team who have self-isolated and are working from home in order to meet the needs of our clients.

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