Family breakdown, at any time, is a traumatic process for all involved. During these uncertain and unprecedented times the challenges and responsibilities needing to be met may seem heightened. To help give some clarification around the legal guidance for families we have created the below guide.
The challenges for many have been numerous during this time, it is important for parents to consider their Child Arrangements Orders and any other similar informal arrangements. As guidance has been changing and adapting to tackle the virus, this has in some cases become difficult for parents to do.
Whilst many parents have managed to work together to help with childcare and ensure the children still see both parents as previously arranged. The grey area comes as certain government advice seems to contradict the directions of previous arrangements. However, COVID-19 should not have in the past, present or future be used as a standalone excuse to prevent one parent from seeing their children. Similarly, it should not be used as a stand alone excuse for Orders to be breached, unless completely necessary (such as isolation or shielding).
Each individual is going to need assessment based on their individual circumstances. It is important to remember that every decision made needs to be made in the best interest of your children, whilst being able to comply with Court Orders as much as possible. Any detraction from an Order that hasn’t been consented to, will need to be clearly and fully justified and evidenced to the court. If this is not the case it may be treated as a breach of Court Order, leading to potential sanctions.
If you need to discuss your circumstances in more detail, our team are working from the office and available to help guide you.