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CoParenting and Child Contact Arrangements during COVID-19

View profile for Pamela Walsh
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During these uncertain times it is difficult enough for parents to explain to children what is going on, without the complications of contact with a parent living in another house.

Maintaining a sense of routine through a separation and afterwards will certainly help in making a child feel safe and secure. Whilst schools are closed it is important that children maintain their usual routine of spending time with each of their parents.

If you are waiting for a Court Hearing these will still take place albeit differently.  All our Family Solicitors are working from home so cannot meet in person like they would normally like to.  However, they can still take you through all the necessary arrangements.  Court hearings will go ahead but these will take place by telephone or Skype, (and you can still attend in this way yourself).

If you already have a Child Arrangements Order in place this should be complied with as much as possible, unless it would put your child or others at risk.  This will help children to feel a sense of consistency and reassure them that the other parent, who they normally spend time with, is safe and healthy.

Communication is as important as ever during the lockdown, particularly if one parent becomes ill and needs to self-isolate.  It might take a bit more creative thinking about how to stay in touch at this time. Unless there is a medical reason for children not to be visiting the other parent this will be classed as a legitimate journey under the new ‘Stay at Home’ government rules.  However, the same hygiene practices need to be adhered to as well as social distancing at time of handover.

Co-parenting Advice from our Family Solicitors

“It is extremely important to be extra vigilant about the topics you discuss within earshot of children.  Take care about the language you use particularly if you are talking about disputes, court hearings or participating in Skype calls regarding court hearings etc. This is so relevant, at the moment, with everyone at home all the time, so exposing children to these disputes could be very confusing and emotionally harming and create divided loyalties between parents,” advises Emma Kendall, Family Solicitor for Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers.

Pamela Walsh, Childcare Solicitor adds, “All of our Family Solicitors are members of Resolution and the needs of your family and children are at the heart of everything we do, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

If you require further advice about separation, child contact and co-parenting please contact our Family Law Team for support.  They are available over the phone, email or video conferencing.

Please contact us on 0161 785 3500 or email us on enquiries@pearsonlegal.co.uk

 

Further guidance can be obtained here

 

Please note that the information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers LLP or any of its members or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.