Keeping up parental contact and Coronavirus
Following the drastic measures announced last night on the grounds of public health, there have been many questions as to what this means for separated families throughout the country.
The government have issued some guidance which can be found in the attached document.
The crucial point for separated families is at bullet point three of the first section. The footnote to this bullet clearly sets out that where applicable, it is possible to move children under the age of 18 between the houses of two parents. This means that if you have an order in place providing for your child to spend time with both parents, or if there is an agreement that you have with a former spouse or partner in respect of your children, that this should be adhered to.
It is important when dealing with the practicalities of this to ensure that the guidance on social distancing is followed where possible during handover, and that if for any reason it is necessary for the household of which the child is apart to quarantine due to illness that NHS advice is followed.
In those situations, it is still possible to consider indirect contact between a child and the parent with whom they are not able to have contact - various social media platforms such as FaceTime or Skype and other forms of indirect contact will make it possible to ensure that a good relationship continues between a child and it’s remote parent.
It is also important to remember that co-parenting in this situation is crucial and should you need any advice about practical steps that can be taken to try and achieve this, please consider the CAFCASS website http://www.cafcass.gov.uk/
Should you have any specific questions as to how this relates to your family, please contact Joanna Cotgrove or a member of Ashtons’ family law team on 0800 915 6037 or go to https://www.ashtonslegal.co.uk/your-life/family-law-solicitors/
This information is correct at 10.30am on 24th March 2020.