COVID-19 and Childcare arrangements

March 30th, 2020

With us all facing this global pandemic of the coronavirus, there is a multitude of knock-on effects on every aspect of society.

This is particularly challenging for parents who are separated and the challenges they may have with maintaining ongoing childcare arrangements. There are several potential problems that could arise such as:

  • A parent that is caring for a child but is required to self-isolate and is unable to take a child to the other parent. Under current guidance, the child will also be required to self-isolate with that parent for 14-days.
  • A child might develop symptoms while with a parent for the weekend and may have to remain in self-isolation with that parent when normally they would return to the other parent at the end of the weekend.
  • Children may become too unwell to visit their other parent.

There can also be court order or agreed arrangements you have with your partner.

Avoiding disputes between parents or guardians

There are several ways of dealing with this to avoid a potential dispute between parents and guidance for these challenging times has been set out by CAFCAS some of which include;

  • Unless there are justified medical/self-isolation issues – or some other national issued guidance or expectation associated with leaving the house in you area – children should maintain their usual routine of spending time with each of their parents. If there is a child arrangement order this should be complied with unless to do so would put your child or others at risk.
  • Early honest communication with your former partner to agree a variation to your arrangements.
  • Suspending the arrangements by agreement. If time is lost the parent who normally cares for the child should consider offering to ‘make up’ the time at a later date. Remember any rearranged spending time arrangement should always be for the child’s benefit.
  • Consider the use of technology to offer alternatives such as FaceTime or Skype or telephone calls. Think creatively about how to support your child to stay in touch.
  • Be extra vigilant at this time to make sure that children don’t hear discussions about a court case or any dispute. This is particularly relevant with the added worry and stress the pandemic brings.
  • Follow carefully all the government guidelines on social distancing, hand washing and sensible hygiene.

These are just a few points for separated couples who, like the rest of the world, face an uncertain situation with a direct impact on their lives.

Free review of existing child arrangements

Verisona Law family law team has extensive experience in dealing with issues around child arrangements. If you have concerns about your  circumstances Verisona Law offers a free review of your existing child arrangements and court orders that may be in place.

Given the current social distancing measures, we can provide advice by various means including email, telephone, FaceTime or Skype in order to help you.

Contact us today on 02392 98 1000 or email