Child Arrangement Order compliance during lockdown

Self isolation is impacting my ability to comply with a Family Court Child Arrangement Order, what should I do?

A Child Arrangement Order decides where your child lives, when your child spends time with each parent and what form of contact takes place between parents and children, for example, telephone calls. Following the ‘stay at home rules’ as per the latest government Covid-19 guidance may impact your ability to comply with all aspects of a Child Arrangement Order.

Government guidance advises that where parents do not live in the same household, children under 18 can be moved between their parents’ homes. This does not create the automatic assumption that children must be moved between homes, parents should make a sensible assessment of circumstances taking into account the following factors before a child is moved between homes;

  • The child’s present health
  • The risk of infection
  • The presence of any vulnerable individuals in one household or another

If upon making a sensible assessment of circumstances parents feel that arrangements within the Child Arrangement Order should be temporarily varied, they are free to do so.

If parents do not agree to vary the arrangements within the Child Arrangement Order, the parent proposing to vary arrangements to one that they consider to be safe may do so. If after the event the actions of the parent varying arrangements are questioned, the court has provided the guidance that it will look to see whether each parent acted reasonably and sensibly in light of government advice, together with any evidence relating to the child or family.

If the varying of a Child Arrangement Order results in one parent not being able to spend time with the child, the court will expect alternative arrangements to be made to maintain regular contact, for example, though Face-Time, Zoom, Skype or WhatsApp Face-Time.

If you seek advice in respect of complying with a Child Arrangement Order during these unprecedented times please do not hesitate to contact our family team on 01530 510666.


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