It is fair to say that the UK is currently facing a serious crisis. Many separated parents will have the added stress of not only home schooling their children, but also how and whether to share the time of the children between each parent.
The Government guidelines are clear. If anyone is suspected of having symptoms of the corona virus then they should self-isolate for 14 days. If, however, families are just taking precautionary measures then it is fine for the children to still spend time with both parents in the separate houses. If parents cannot agree how to split time, then they may require a Child Arrangements Order. The court’s paramount consideration is the child’s best interests and therefore it is best to resolve issues as quickly and amicably as possible so as not to disrupt the child’s routine or stability.
A Child Arrangements Order sets out with whom a child should live, spend time or otherwise have contact with. It can be granted to more than one person and can either be direct e.g. face to face or indirect e.g. by exchange of letters or cards.
The Family Team at Jacksons can offer guidance and assistance in relation to agreements and preferred contact and continue to work remotely to allow all clients to seek the support they may require from us.
We understand that the court arena is a very daunting and intimidating process, therefore we attempt to settle matters through negotiation, if possible and advise on all possible avenues. If parents cannot agree, then we would refer them to a mediator to attempt to resolve matters. Before making a court application it is now compulsory to attend a Mediation Information Assessment Meeting (MIAM), unless there is a sufficient reason why you are exempt from doing so.
If you are unsure how best to approach shared contact with the other parent, please contact Emma Canham at firstname.lastname@example.org on 0191 2069621 or Heather Snowdon at email@example.com on 01642 356500.
Emma Canham, Family Solicitor