Helen Bishop, Consultant Solicitor

Urgent Covid-19 – Child arrangements update 24.03.20

Boardman, Hawkins & Osborne LLP

As each and every one of us are aware, the Prime Minister had to go one step further last night to try to slow the spread of the Covid-19, and asked us all to stay at home.

This article provides updated information to the original How will the Corona virus affect our child arrangements? Available here.

Overnight there have been many anxious parents asking what happens now in relation to child arrangements. As we explained yesterday where possible child arrangements should continue as normal, and indeed the Government’s advice which has now been published and the link is attached clearly states that Where parents do not live in the same household, children under 18 can be moved between their parents’ homes.”

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/full-guidance-on-staying-at-home-and-away-from-others/full-guidance-on-staying-at-home-and-away-from-others

Of course there will be important exceptions to factor in. If one person in the house is unwell and exhibiting the symptoms then the self-isolation rules will apply. If you have a vulnerable person in your household, then by transferring a child between households you will put that person at risk and careful consideration should be given as to whether this is safe and sensible.

Maybe take extra care in transporting toys, clothes and equipment, and make sure you either avoid this or wipe everything?

If it’s not safe or sensible to transport a child, please think creatively about ways of maintaining the relationships with the other parent.  Look at Skype/facetime/TEAMs/Zoom etc. and don’t forget the good old fashioned telephone. If face to face time needs to be avoided or limited, look at increasing the frequency of time via one of these methods.

Whilst deliveries are still being allowed, maybe look at sending some gifts to a child or grandchild you can’t see directly – books, arts and crafts stuff etc. If you are able to get to a post office safely, why not send a letter or a card and ask for one back.

If you are unsure or have any questions around child arrangements do not hesitate to contact us and one of the solicitors will be happy to assist. 

In the meantime the team at BH&O LLP would like to send a clear message: stay home, follow the guidelines and stay safe.

Helen Bishop, BH&O Consultant and Ruth Hawkins Partner.

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