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Restrictions for Separated Parents

View profile for Emma Kendall
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With the country in various stages of lockdown and new restrictions being enforced on a weekly basis it can be confusing as to what we are allowed to do.  This is even more confusing when children are involved and particularly those who share their time living between parents living in different households.

Since March the measures enforced on us by Government have severely impacted child care arrangements and contact orders for a lot of separated or divorced parents and their children.

Government Guidance for Separated or Divorced Parents

Government guidance has been pretty consistent since March. The advice issued via the Courts and Judiciary website states that “where parents do not live in the same household, children under 18 can be moved between their parents’ homes.

It does not, however, mean that children must be moved between homes. The decision whether a child is to move between parental homes is for the child’s parents to make after a sensible assessment of the circumstances, including the child’s present health, the risk of infection and the presence of any recognised vulnerable individuals in one household or the other.”

Parent Concerns

Some separated parents have been concerned about their ability to meet the requirements set out in Court Orders – whether they can meet in a safe manner due to the Covid19 pandemic we are all living through.

Some may be concerned about isolation, lack of schooling, rules around social bubbles or they may be concerned if the other parent is having to isolate.  Some parents might not be able to see their child for a period of time because the other parent is using the coronavirus as an excuse for the child to not see them.

Legal Advice for Parents

If a parent feels they are being put under pressure to make a child available to spend time with the other parent by going against the latest Government guidance then it advisable to seek independent legal advice which is something our Specialist Family Solicitors can help you with.

Now that we having been living with restrictions for some months arrangements you once agreed might be taking their toll or if the impact of coronavirus is being used to prevent contact in any way then this needs addressing immediately.

“Even though a parent may have a Court Order to say where the child lives and the time the child should spend with their other parent it is crucial that both parents abide by the latest Government advice.  They should not place the other parent or child or anyone else they come into contact with at risk of coronavirus infection.

Safety should always come first so it is important that both parents work together to come to an amicable arrangement for their child in order for them to move between parents’ homes", advises Emma Kendall, Divorce and Family Solicitor for Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers.

If you are a divorced or separated parent and need advice on this matter please contact our Family Team or Emma Kendall on email emma.kendall@pearsonlegal.co.uk or call us on 0161 785 3500.

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 Ltd 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.