This short article sets out some of the considerations concerning children spending time with their parents, if those parents do not live together.
The Coronavirus Act 2020 (the Act) came into force in March 2020 and subsequent amendments being made thereafter, with the most recent coming into force on 21 December 2020.
The Act includes provisions to allow children to spend time with both parents, resident (the parent that the children live with) and non-resident (the parent that the children do not live with).
The restrictions on liberties under the Act have caused some uncertainty for resident parents and non-resident parents. This is because the Act includes restrictions on leaving your home and spending time with those outside of your household.
The Act does, however, include exemptions. For example, gatherings or leaving your home could be considered reasonably necessary for spending time with your children. The restrictions under the Act should not be wrongly used to deny children spending time with non-resident parents.
If a Court Order (such as a Child Arrangements Order for a child to spend time with a parent) is in place, then that Order should be complied with. If the resident parent does not comply with the Order, they could be held in contempt of Court. (It will be unlikely for a non-resident parent to be held in contempt of Court if they do not spend time with their children as is set out in an Order).
Both parents will need to make decisions based on what is in the best interests of the children and this will require factoring in all of the circumstances.
We can provide confidential tailored advice based on your needs and we can offer an initial fixed fee consultation appointment. To make an enquiry, please contact a member of our family team on 020 8299 6000 or use the confidential enquiry facility through our website (https://gtstewart.co.uk/).
By Vincenzo Mazzone, Solicitor in the Family Department.