The knock-on effects of the global pandemic are huge.

This challenging time is particularly hard for separated parents, who may face challenges with maintaining on going childcare arrangements. Some of the problems being highlighted to our offices include:

  • A parent becoming symptomatic and falling into the self-isolate category, being unable to assist with handovers and adhering to current court Orders or agreed arrangements. Following the current guidance, the child will also be required to self-isolate with that parent for 14-days.
  • A child developing symptoms while with a parent resulting in that child and their siblings having to self-isolate with the parent they are currently spending time with.
  • Children becoming too unwell to visit their other parent.

Thankfully CAFCASS have issued recommendations to help parents and guardians to assist in limiting disputes and conflict. Please take some time to consider the following:

  • Unless there are justified medical/self-isolation issues – or some other national issued guidance or expectation associated with leaving the house in your area – children should maintain their usual routine of spending time with each of their parents. If there is a child arrangement order this should be complied with unless to do so would put your child or others at risk.
  • Early, honest communication with your former partner regarding any variation to your usual arrangements will help maintain good relationships.
  • Suspending the arrangements by agreement. If one parent loses time with a child, you should consider offering additional time with the child at a later date. Remember that any rearranged time should always be for the child’s benefit.
  • Consider the use of technology to offer contact with children. Video call software such as FaceTime or Skype will help maintain relationships with parents. Think creatively about how to support your child to stay in touch. You may wish the schedule a specific time for this that works for all parties involved.
  • Be cautious at this time and try to make sure that children don’t hear discussions about a court case or any dispute. The pandemic will bring additional stress to a child’s life without the added worry of a court case.
  • Be sure to follow all government guidelines on social distancing, hand washing and sensible hygiene.

The Parrott & Coales family law team has extensive experience in dealing with issues around child arrangements. If you have concerns about your circumstances Parrott & Coales can help.

We are able to offer advice via various means including email, telephone or video call in order to help you.

Contact us today on 01296 318 500 or email law@pandcllp.co.uk

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