During these worrying and unsettling times, it is vital that divorced and separated parents put their children’s health first and re-think custody arrangements.
Under the current Government lockdown rules, children can continue to move between their parents’ homes, but this changes if the child or one of the parents develop any of the COVID-19 symptoms and has to self-isolate.
Over recent weeks I have been contacted by numerous parents wanting to know their rights. People are worried and don’t want to overstep any advice.
More than anything, I understand how difficult it can be for divorced and separated parents to see their children during the current lockdown. It restricts so many of us from going out for more than basic essentials and exercise.
Although the Family Courts have made clear that children whose parents do not live together can move between their two homes, this is a time when everyone must act responsibly in the interests of themselves, the rest of the community and, of course, their children.
At this time, parents need to use their common sense, put any differences aside, and devise contact arrangements appropriate for the situation especially for the parent that is not self-isolating. And if one parent and the children are self-isolating, it means the other parent will have to accept indirect contact via video chats on Skype or FaceTime. That’s just a sad fact many have to accept until the lockdown rules are relaxed.
It’s a hugely tough time for divorced and separated parents at present, but being careful and planning ahead is the only practical way to prevent the virus spreading further and ensure our safety.
Rupinder Nandra is an Associate Solicitor within our Family department. For further advice, readers can email firstname.lastname@example.org.