Part 2: COVID-19 and the Effect on Family Court Parenting Issues.
COVID 19 is causing uncertainty in so many areas. One question we are being asked, is “How it will affect existing Parenting Orders or Parenting Plans?”. The answer to this will vary, depending upon your Order or Plan.
Some parents have not yet formalised the arrangements for their children and are now unsure about what the best arrangements ought to be for their situation.
Many parents have arrangements in place which involve a third-party supervisor for contact time. This may be a Contact Centre, or a Supervision Agency. It is unclear, at this stage, whether these businesses will continue to operate. We hope that they will, as they provide an invaluable service. However, if they do not, consider asking a family member, or close friend if they would be willing to supervise contact time.
Some other issues to consider are: -
- If the other parent lives interstate, you may need to increase remote contact time through FaceTime, Skype, and/or telephone time, to ensure that your children are still able to have a meaningful relationship with that parent. With State border restrictions coming into force, remote contact time will become so important, especially as at this stage, because we do not know how long this situation will last.
- If you normally do handovers at a public place, such as a shopping centre, consider changing the location, so that neither parent, nor your children are being exposed to too many people.
- For now, schools and day-cares are open, and this could change at any time. If you normally collect and return your children to school, consider what will happen if schools close and discuss this with the other parent. Plan to do whatever you can help each other out if this situation arises.
We appreciate that there are many issues that may arise, and we are always available to guide you through your options.
If you would like further information, would like us to review your Order or Parenting Plan, or discuss arrangements with you, please contact us and one of our experienced lawyers will be able to assist you.
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