Covid19 – Five points to consider regarding child contact arrangements
It is important that you try to remember that lots of people are really worried about Coronavirus and the health of themselves, their children and their extended family. Even if you think it is safe it might be entirely reasonable for the other parent to be genuinely worried about other things.
They might not be stopping contact just to spite you or using Coronavirus as an excuse. Try not to fall into the trap of escalating matters by making a scene or turning up at the other person’s front door. It will not help things between you and it probably will not get you the contact you are asking for.
- Whether or not there is a Court Order in place you still need to behave like a sensible parent. If anyone in your household is symptomatic and you are self-isolating, you should not be sending your child for contact with the other parent or expect the child to be sent to you.
- If you or the other parent and the child need to travel on public transport for contact to take place, then there is the potential to expose yourselves to a health risk. You can ask each other to make alternative temporary travel arrangements where possible.
- If travel arrangements are currently unmanageable because either of you have unexpected childcare or work commitments due to Coronavirus, then you simply need to let the other parent know and see if you can find a temporary way around this.
- If either party is worried about sending the child for contact because they are not able to trust the other to keep the child safe and follow the Stay at Home Rules and guidance about Coronavirus then you should speak to each other and provide reassurances to the other about what your movements will be (i.e. essential travel only).
- If you do need to substitute contact in person for contact via Skype or FaceTime then remember it is entirely possible to still do meaningful things together – you can still play some games, read stories and help with any home learning that the child may be undertaking.
If what the other parent is saying about risks is an excuse, then this is not going to be a good excuse forever.