I’m divorced. Can I see my children during Lockdown?
On 5 January 2021, the UK entered the third national lockdown – in place until at least mid-February. This short guide seeks to explain the rules for families co-parenting their children and answer your questions. Can children move between homes during lockdown? What to do if your ex refuses to let you see your child. We’ve also shared some helpful links at the bottom of the article.
Please note, this guide is intended to offer general advice. Every situation will be different. If you have any questions, SKB Law offers free 15 minute legal advice calls. Book yours today by calling 01274 727373 or emailing [email protected]
What are the rules for children moving between co-parents’ homes?
The Government’s new Stay At Home Rules mean that you should only leave the house for food, exercise, health reasons or work.
However, there are exceptions, including those involving children. Children who have parents in different households can continue moving between homes.
Should I Move My Child Between Homes during Lockdown?
Any decision to move your child between houses should be agreed by both parents – and consider any court order in place. COVID-19 and the most recent lockdown have caused many people to worry about their health and the health of their loved ones. If you’re not sure whether your child should see the other parent, speak to each other.
- Ask Yourself: is it safe for your child to move between homes? You may wish to assess the child’s present health, the risk of infection and the presence of any recognised vulnerable individuals in one household or the other. Whatever you do, be kind to each other.
- When Both Parents Agree. If you both agree to make changes, and you have a Child Arrangements Order in place – agree the changes with each other in writing (text or email). You can also notify your solicitor.
What can I do if my ex won’t let me see my children during lockdown?
The rules state that children can move between households. In general, the courts will expect parents to comply with existing court orders where it is safe and practical to do so. They will consider whether contact has been withheld unreasonably.
Even if a court order is not in place, child contact should continue unless there are specific reasons that would make moving between two households unsafe or isolation requirements apply.
However if one parent does refuse to allow contact or changes the agreed court order:
- stay calm and ask for an explanation – write down their reasons;
- explore different ways to maintain contact such as phone or video calls e.g. Zoom, WhatsApp, FaceTime. If you have a Court Order in place, the courts will expect both parents to consider alternative arrangements;
- if you have a solicitor, notify them;
- if communication with the other parent is difficult or has broken down, try speaking to a law firm. In most cases our legal team can offer you a same-day free 15 minute consultation – call us on 01274 727373 – we operate across England & Wales;
We hope you’ve found this post helpful. SKB Law are a team of family law specialists. We offer free 15 minute advice calls to people across England & Wales. Call our office on 01274 727373 or via WhatsApp Business on 07999 363105.
You may also find the following websites of assistance:
- https://www.naccc.org.uk – for information on supported contact centres
- https://www.nfm.org.uk/new-service-co-parenting-through-the-coronavirus-crisis/ – a new service from National Family Mediation
- www.relate.org.uk – advice and tips for keeping relationships healthy during self-isolation and social distancing