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How does COVID-19 impact your arrangements for the children?

Published on Apr 1, 2020

The current ‘lockdown’ is clearly an unprecedented event, but what does it mean in practical terms for children who need to move between two households?  We are getting lots of enquiries regarding this point and we have set out the guidance below. 

Government guidance
The government have provided full guidance providing for specific circumstances as to when you are able to leave home.  Helpfully, they have specifically commented that parents who do not live in the same household with children under the age of 18 can be moved between their parents’ homes.  

Child arrangements order
In addition to the government guidance, the President of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane, provided additional advice on compliance with Family Court Child Arrangement Orders.

You can read the full guidance by following this link https://www.judiciary.uk/announcements/coronavirus-crisis-guidance-on-compliance-with-family-court-child-arrangement-orders/

In short, Sir Andrew McFarlane summarises as follows: ‘The key message should be that, where Coronavirus restrictions cause the letter of a court order to be varied, the spirit of the order should nevertheless be delivered by making safe alternative arrangements for the child.’

Summary
It is essential during this time that children’s welfare and health are protected and promoted at all times.  It is however the case that, as much as possible, children are able to continue to see both parents in line with any agreement and/or Court order.

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