25 Mar 2020

Coronavirus update: Maintaining contact with children

Coronavirus update: Maintaining contact with children

Children with separated parents will be allowed to move between the two households, despite the Coronavirus lockdown.

There had been fears that the 'stay at home' mandate from government would disrupt contact arrangements in the short-term.

However, the government has now issued fresh guidance, stating that 'where parents do not live in the same household, children under 18 can be moved between their parents' homes'.

That being the case, existing contact arrangements should be adhered to where possible, according to Ruth Aberdein, Head of Family Law at Aberdein Considine.

However, she said that "the welfare and safety of the child or children must always be the paramount consideration".

Stablilty

Ruth added: "Whatever happens, it is vital that parents communicate well and work together to ensure that the best interests of their children are prioritised, to limit the ‘fear factor’ for them and to keep spirits up. These are uncharted territories for all of us. 

"Children generally benefit from maintaining regular direct contact with both parents and their extended families but if direct contact becomes impossible, perhaps due to illness, then parents will need to be creative, flexible and accommodating.

"In this digital age, there are many ways of easily maintaining indirect contact, even for very young children. Contact can be maintained by means such as telephone, post, text message, email, social media, online Apps, FaceTime, Skype and audio/video conferencing.

"Think about recording fun and entertaining videos or blogs for sending to your children. Encourage children to record videos or voice messages for parents who are apart from children. Parents with care of the children could help them to draw pictures and write letters or cards for sending to the other parent. Consider reading books/bedtime stories and playing games with children over FaceTime, Skype or Video Conference.  Older children may play online interactive group games.  

"Be resourceful and cooperative. Try to avoid exposing children to conflict and niggles. The welfare, safety and happiness of the children should always be the priority."

Family law experts

At Aberdein Considine, we understand that family law situations such as divorce, separation and disputes involving children can be incredibly difficult and emotional for everyone involved.

Our specialist team of family lawyers are dedicated to providing a sensitive, effective and efficient legal support service to across Scotland.

They can help you overcome the difficult emotions often involved in the breakdown of a relationship to find the best solutions for you and your family.

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