North East Connected

Family Laws: Do children have the right to see both parents during UK lockdown?

Divorced and separated parents have asked the question of whether their children still have the right to see both parents amid the ongoing coronavirus situation.

Following guidance from the government, it has been clarified that children under the age of 18 years do have the right to see both parents so any concerns about non-essential travel provides for this to be excluded.

Therefore, parties who have arrangements either between themselves or under the terms of a child arrangements order should still adhere to such arrangements but with a view to taking extra care per the government guidelines.

Wendy Beacom, head of the Private Family Law department at Hartlepool-based Solicitors Tilly Bailey & Irvine, answers the question:

“I have already experienced many enquiries from clients about the same subject. Some parents are reviewing their own working arrangements so as to minimise the amount of handovers particularly where children are not currently in school where ordinarily pickups/drop-offs take place, but may now be from parents’ homes.

“Without doubt this is a very uncertain time and where parents can work together for the benefit of the children, the courts would certainly advocate that rather than the court having to review arrangements even with a court order in place.

“If either myself or one of the members of my team can be of assistance at this difficult time or any other, please do not hesitate to contact us.”

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