Child contact arrangements & COVID-19 – What are my rights?

Published: 24th March 2020

As the country is adjusting to life with COVID-19, parents are confronting a host of new dilemmas regarding their children. We at K J Smith Solicitors are now being asked to advise clients in relation to a range of scenarios.

These are some of the many enquiries we have had from our concerned clients:

1. What happens where there is a court contact order saying my child has to spend time with my ex-partner but I am concerned about their attitude to the virus? Can I prevent contact in these circumstances?

2. What happens if my child has an underlying health condition, such as asthma, which increases their risk of contracting COVID-19? Can I refuse contact?

3. What happens if my ex-partner is preventing me from spending time with my child using the virus as a reason? If I miss out on contact now, am I entitled to extra contact in the future?

4. What happens where there is no court order but instead I have an informal agreement? Can I obtain an order so as to regularise arrangements?

5. What happens where my child is living with an elderly relative or someone from an at risk group? Can I do anything about this?

The COVID-19 crisis is giving rise to all kinds of questions which were not foreseen when you entered into your agreement about childcare, whether formal or informal. We at K J Smith Solicitors can help you answer these questions, advise you on the law and help you solve your particular problem.

We offer a free 45 minute no-obligation meeting via Skype, Facetime, Zoom, or another medium most convenient for you. Do get in contact if you feel we could help you.

We would encourage you to stay informed about the current advice from NHS England in relation to COVID-19. You can find all the latest guidance at www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/.

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