Can COVID-19 Stop Me From Seeing My Child?
Posted on 24th March 2020
Whilst important that parents keep up to date with the Government Guidance the starting point it that all Court Orders MUST be complied with. COVID-19 should not be used as an excuse to prevent one parent from seeing their child/children nor should Orders be breached unnecessarily.
- Where should the child stay if there are elderly of high-risk adults at one home but not the other?
- Are the scheduled Easter Holidays to be treated as a “holiday” or “term time” for the sake of scheduling where a child spends time?
- What if one parent is self-isolating and the child is due to spend time with the other parent as stated by a Court Order?
The common answer:
Use common sense.
Sarah Lees, one of MG Legal’s solicitors in Garstang, will say that every case is going to be assessed on its own individual circumstances.
In unprecedented circumstances there is no “normal course of action” that said the overriding principle of any decision being made should always be TO MAKE DECISIONS WHICH ARE IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE CHILDREN.
MG Legal, Family Solicitors in Longridge, advise that parents should be looking to comply with Court Orders or following the “usual” arrangements as best they can, In circumstances where parents are required to deviate from the Order or usual arrangements and they do not have the consent of the Family Court, the parent wishing to deviate from the norm will need to clearly justify and most importantly EVIDENCE such actions, as self-isolation due to COVID-19 will not automatically be accepted by the Courts and will still be treated as a breach of a Court Order with potential sanctions as a result of this.
The key advice from Family Solicitors at the moment it that parents will need to keep clear and open communications using other forms of contact such as phone/video or skype calls for a significant and meaningful duration of time.
Presently the Courts intend to remain open and inevitably as time progresses the Courts will be under large amounts of strain due to emergency Orders etc so agreements by consent between parents are most advised at this stage. The bonus to this approach is that, where there is agreement by consent, there will not be considered a breach of the Court Order.
That said where one Parent makes a decision without consulting the other Parent or moves to breach a Court Order, then these circumstances will be treated very differently. Remember, Family Court is still accepting applications made for enforcement or variations of Court Orders both for short term and long-term consequences of negative reliance upon COVID-19.
MG Legal have a team of solicitors throughout the North West. Our Family Solicitors in Garstang are closely monitoring both the advice issued by the Courts and that of the Government.
If you need assistance in reaching sensible arrangements during this confusing and difficult period contact MG Legal now via email@example.com or call 01524 581 306 for our Lancaster office, or 01995 602129 or 01772 783314, to contact our team of family solicitors in Garstang.
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