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COVID-19: Information Regarding Parental Contact

COVID-19: Information Regarding Parental Contact

 

My child spends time with their other parent who doesn’t live with me – what should I do? 

The UK Government announced on 23 March 2020 a requirement for people to stay at home except for very limited purposes.

There is an exception to this for the purpose of continuing existing arrangements for contact between parents and children.

 

This does not mean that a child must move between parents.

 

If face to face contact is not appropriate, or possible, then a child should be able to communicate with their parents by other means such as Skype, WhatsApp or Facetime.

 

What should I do if the other parent and I have an informal arrangement? 

If you have a more informal arrangement with the other parent, you should discuss how best to approach the situation and make a decision on whether a child is to continue to move between homes after a sensible assessment of the circumstances, including the child’s present health, the risk of infection and the presence of any recognised vulnerable individuals in one household or the other.

 

What should I do if there is a Court order or formal agreement in place? 

If there is a court order or formal agreement in place, you should try to stick to the arrangements it sets out unless you and the other parent agree to vary these. The Lord President issued guidance on 27th March 2020 on compliance with contact orders during the Coronavirus crisis. The guidance is available at the link below:

https://www.scotcourts.gov.uk/coming-to-court/attending-a-court/coronavirus

 

Again, if face to face contact is not appropriate or possible then a child should be able to communicate with their parents by other means such as Skype, WhatsApp or Facetime. If none of these options are possible then communication could be done by phone.

 

Will the Court make any orders at this time? 

All non-essential Court business will be adjourned or continued to a later date. The Court will still consider any urgent matters, on cause being shown, including applications relating to child welfare, applications for interim interdict and applications in relation to adults with incapacity.

 

If you have an ongoing court case you can find up-to-date information on the Scottish Courts & Tribunals website about court closures and court business generally.

https://www.scotcourts.gov.uk/

 

Our Family Law team are fully available to help with any issues you may have.

 

Fort William Contact:

Email [email protected] or call 01397 701000

 

Oban Contact:

Email [email protected]cphee.co.uk or call 01631 562308