The government introduced rules on Monday evening as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic which require the population of the UK to stay at home, except for very limited purposes. This has led to enquiries about the impact of this announcement upon existing arrangements for children of separated parents. If a child spends time in two different households, to spend time with each of their parents after a separation or divorce, this requires the child to travel between two homes.
When parents decide to separate, they may reach agreement between themselves as to how children are to spend their time, or if either parent has asked for the court to assist in resolving a dispute, a Child Arrangements Order may be in place. A Child Arrangements Order may stipulate where a child is to live on particular days of the week or how often a children is to spend time with a parent.
The government has given clear guidance this morning that where parents do not live in the same household, children under 18 can be moved between their parents’ homes during the Coronavirus pandemic.
This has provided clarity for separated parents, who were not clear whether a child would need to remain in the property in which they were living at the time of the government announcement. The updated guidance has confirmed that children can indeed be moved between homes, and therefore fall within the limited purposes exemption.
This is a very fluid and fast moving situation, and the Government could move to tighten restrictions at any point.
It is possible to change a Change Arrangements Order, you can read more about the process in our earlier blog. If you have concerns about the impact of the Coronavirus lockdown on your existing Child Arrangements Order, please contact us.
Our office remains fully operational during the Coronavirus Crisis lockdown.
Visit our Coronavirus COVID-19 Family Law Resource Centre to get free and recently updated knowledge relating to family law issues in the current crisis.