Child contact has been greatly affected by COVID-19, due to parents shielding or living out of the country and travel restrictions preventing contact. The pandemic has unfortunately made the job of a parent much harder. We are here to help with any of your concerns and answer queries. We have set out a few frequently asked questions to help navigate through this unprecedented and difficult time.
Do I have to pay increased child maintenance?
The change in child contact is considered temporary and therefore the child maintenance service will not consider making any change to the amount payable.
If the child maintenance is a figure that has been agreed between the parties, this will need to be discussed between you and a decision can be reached informally and on an interim basis.
Am I expected to comply with a Child Arrangements Order?
If both parents are in agreement with any variation, you are free to decide any temporary variation in the order. The main point to consider is whether any change is in the best interest of the child and whether this would have an impact on their wellbeing.
If an agreement cannot be reached between both parents, an application will be necessary to the Family Court. The court will look at whether each party has acted reasonably and sensibly in accordance with the official advice.
If one parent has not had contact with the child in line with a Child Arrangement Order, the courts expect that alternative arrangements are made to maintain regular contact. This could include, FaceTime, Skype or Zoom. Safe alternative arrangements for the child must be made.
Can my child travel between parents’ households?
It is permitted for children under 18 to travel between households to comply with child arrangements.
Assessment of the circumstances will need to be carried out and both parents will need to agree any variation of contact based upon any risk in the child’s health and risk of infection. Practical and sensible decisions need to be made.
It is essential that you work together to reach the best solution and the main consideration is the welfare of the child.
How can we help?
We at Cordell & Cordell are family law specialists and pride ourselves in evolving our practice in light of this unprecedented situation. We are able to assist and guide you through the new court system and change in family law.
We are working as normal and are offering new client meetings remotely. Please contact us if you would like to arrange a meeting.