COVID-19 and child contact

These uncertain times have impacted on absolutely everyone, no matter their age, stage and location. We are seeing an increasing amount of queries from separated families about a parent’s legal obligations relating to a child or children’s contact with the other parent. Equally, contact arrangements may be in place for grandparents, siblings and other family members.

If you have an arrangement in place then, as far as possible, that arrangement should be followed. Continuity will be in the best interests of the children. That, of course, needs to be balanced against current Government guidelines, and health considerations for the families involved.

If contact cannot take place, then you should think about the following:

  • Regular Skype or FaceTime calls to take place at the same time as scheduled contact.
  • Plan ahead now, where possible, to work out care arrangements for school closures – can holiday contact arrangements operate instead?
  • If one parent has to self-isolate, what alternative arrangements can be put in place?
  • If contact takes place at a contact centre, get in touch with them to see what the current guidelines are.

There may also be parents currently abroad with their children who are unable to return due to current travel restrictions. Whilst it is hoped no one would take advantage of these restrictions, the Courts are still open and if emergency orders are required, there are capabilities to manage this.

Any action taken for failure to comply with Court orders will no doubt rely on the facts and circumstances of each particular case. Speak to a solicitor if you are unsure of your obligations, or if arrangements need to be made where direct communications with the other parent are not possible.

These are uncertain times and it is hoped that all can take a sensible approach in keeping communications open between children and their parents, not least as it is in the children’s best interests.

If you have any questions about how COVID-19 might impact your particular situation, please contact a member of our specialist Family Law team.

Latest updates from @MacRoberts

  • Huge congratulations to Rebecca Cox in our Corporate Finance team who has been shortlisted for the Rising Star of t… 1 hour ago
  • MacRoberts is delighted to be shortlisted at this year’s Scottish Legal Awards! We're up for Firm of the Year & t… 19 hours ago
  • Have you and your partner been considering moving in together? Are you aware of the legal implications that this ma… 29/07/2021
  • Following a consultation in 2019, the UK Government has outlined its intention to introduce a mandatory duty on emp… 29/07/2021
  • Our award-winning Family Law team can help you and your partner through difficult situations by providing support w… 27/07/2021
  • To celebrate the Olympic Games in Tokyo, we're delighted to launch our latest sporting challenge in support of our… 23/07/2021
  • MacRoberts is recruiting! We are currently looking for a Real Estate Planning Solicitor to join the MacRoberts tea… 23/07/2021
  • The countdown is on! With just 100 days to go, we’re looking forward to #COP26 in Glasgow! ♻️ As a firm accredite… 22/07/2021
  • Has lockdown led you to consider a move to the countryside? From discussing a possible purchase to obtaining the… 22/07/2021
  • Have you seen our latest vacancies? 💼 We currently have opportunities in various departments across the firm. Fin… 21/07/2021
  • Acas has published new guidance for employers with helpful information on #flexibleworking & #hybridworking. With t… 20/07/2021
  • Busting the myth that a career in law is only for the privileged few: @marikaflawyer is speaking at this morning’s… 19/07/2021
  • MacRoberts is recruiting! We are currently looking for a Support Services Assistant to join our team in Edinburgh.… 16/07/2021
  • MacRoberts is pleased to have been part of the team advising @HV_Systems in its £5m capital boost from Beehive Equi… 15/07/2021
  • MacRoberts is recruiting! We are currently looking for a NQ Solicitor to join our Conveyancing & Private Client te… 14/07/2021