Arrangements for children during Covid-19 pandemic

Following the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, there has been much concern about what happens regarding arrangements for children spending time in the households of each of their parents. This is particularly relevant following the stay-at-homes rules and advice provided by the government.

During this time, where arrangements for a child are clearly stipulated within a Child Arrangements Order, the government has made it clear that where parents do not live in the same household, children under 18 can be moved between their parents’ homes.

Where a child is unwell, perhaps with symptoms of coronavirus, that can present a conundrum for parents about whether it is safe for their child to travel from the home of one of their parents to the home of the other parent.  The concerns of one parent may not be shared by the other parent.

During this unprecedented time, parents may have numerous and varied concerns about their children and the circumstances of one family may differ considerably from those of another family.  Aside from concerns about a child’s health, other concerns that one or both parents might have, could be the risk of infection and the presence of any recognised vulnerable adult in one household or the other.

In circumstances where a parent has concerns about the safety of a child moving from the home of one parent to another and where a Child Arrangements Order is in force, parents can seek to change the arrangements by agreement between them, if it is possible to reach an agreement.  If the parents disagree on a particular matter and one parent chooses to vary the arrangement, without the consent of the other parent and which would constitute a deviation from the terms of a Child Arrangements Order, the parent who has changed the arrangement may be required to explain their actions to the Court at a later date, and provide evidence in support of their decision.  Such course of action must be carefully considered and obtaining specialist legal advice at the earliest opportunity would be sensible.

If you are a parent and you are considering changing arrangements as to when your child, or children, see their other parent or you as a parent are faced with changes that have been made which you do not agree with, we can help.

We offer a fixed fee consultation of £180, inclusive of VAT, where we will discuss your situation with you and advise you of the options available to you. We are open for business and telephone remote appointments are available.

 

Disclaimer

This literature is intended purely as an overview of this area of law and no action should be taken upon it without specific legal advice.