Co Parenting in Covid-19 by Kelsey Faulkner
The Bell Lamb & Joynson family law team have been overwhelmed during the pandemic with queries from co-parenting couples regarding their children, and rightly so given that separated parents have faced completely new obstacles in the wake of COVID-19.
To alleviate the pressure on families, the Courts and family lawyers, the Government advised that children of separated families should still move between households. Further from that, separated parents are being urged to refrain from acting cynically and opportunistically during this worrying crisis.
Many parents have been reporting that their exes are key workers, and therefore should not be having any contact with their children. However, with 7 million key workers in the UK at present, adequate precautions can be taken to protect both households whilst allowing children to enjoy continuing to spend time with both parents. Sir Andrew McFarlane, the president of the family division in the High Court, published advice, stating that parents are expected to “care for children by acting sensibly and safely when making decisions regarding the arrangements for their child and deciding where and with whom their child spends time”.
This is a stressful time for everyone, including children. Many children will be feeling incredibly anxious and out of sync . If parents can agree on consistent rules between households and keep conflict to a minimum, it would help their children feel as secure as possible when moving between households.
Advice for families that has been published by Cafcass:
- Unless there is a justified medical issue, children should maintain their usual routine of spending time with each parent, child arrangement orders that are currently in place should be complied with.
- Think creatively about how your child can stay in touch with their other parent, skype and facetime are great alternatives.
- Think about how any missed time during self-isolation could be made up with their other parent, for after the restrictions are lifted.