COVID-19 - Co-Parenting during the crisis

Together we are Forbes

Article

24 March, 2020

There is a huge amount of uncertainty facing people during these unprecedented times as the Coronavirus pandemic continues to spread and cause concern across the country and indeed worldwide. The knock-on effect to society and daily life is increasing day by day as more and more people are either contracting the virus and/or taking the steps to self-isolate to avoid any further unnecessary spread.

The government has been placing pressure on society for social distancing and this has left many separated parents confused. Many parents are the subject of Court Orders and with the further lockdown, child arrangements were in jeopardy. Michael Gove has clarified this morning on breakfast television that the lockdown does not prevent children under the age of 18 from moving between parents. This should now help anxious parents and children who may have feared for the draconian impact for the foreseeable future. The government is clear that Court Orders should be abided by. However parents should still consider minimising handovers to limit the spread of this deadly virus.

There are a number of temporary safe ways in which contact can still take place without the need for families to be put at risk and parents should see if it is possible to discuss sensible arrangements between themselves:

  • Can a safe drop off/pick up location be agreed and arranged away from crowds giving consideration to the safe distancing guidelines recommended by the Government?
  • If both parties can agree that it would be best for the children to postpone the current arrangements, then this is an option. This will allow the child or children to stay safely in one home whilst maintaining regular contact with the other parent via alternative methods such as Skype, FaceTime, phone and text etc.
  • Can arrangements be changed from 'the norm' to make them more convenient for both parties? Again, this is something which the parents could agree between them and it could undoubtedly prove beneficial to one or both parents. For example - if the parent who has less contact is off work and/or working from home whilst the other 'main carer' has to continue working and therefore less able to facilitate the added childcare.

It is important to remember that the health and wellbeing of all concerned is paramount and everybodys situation will be different. Furthermore, these new arrangements will be temporary and normal contact can easily resume once this pandemic has passed us by.

Our experienced Family Solicitors are on hand to assist and provide further advice if required.

For more information contact Rebecca Comber in our Family/Divorce department via email or phone on 01772 220171. Alternatively send any question through to Forbes Solicitors via our online Contact Form.

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