Covid-19 - Children's 'contact' arrangements should continue to be observed

The President of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane, and Michael Gove MP confirmed that children's contact arrangements should continue to be observed.

The President of the Family Division yesterday (24th March 2020) published Coronavirus Crisis: Guidance on Compliance with Family Court Child Arrangement Orders.  In his guidance, Sir Andrew explains that parents, who do not act sensibly and make unilateral decisions that undermine child-parent relationships, will need to justify their actions and demonstrate that they sought to make reasonable alternative arrangements to fulfill regular contact.

Earlier in the day Senior Cabinet minister Michael Gove MP caused some confusion by saying that children should not move between parents' homes. Shortly after his appearance on Good Morning Britain (GMB), he clarified on BBC Breakfast, Twitter and BBC Radio 4 that children with separated parents can travel between their two homes and apologised saying he had not been clear enough.

The official Government stay at home guidance currently states: “Where parents do not live in the same household, children under 18 can be moved between their parents’ homes.”

Where a child is in the vulnerable category then parents should offer/request more extensive Facetime, WhatsApp, Skype, phone time, etc to maintain the child's relationships as well as is possible.

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