Can children from more than one ex-partner/ household still visit their parent at the same time during the pandemic?
This is a common question still received by our children law team.
This very common topic has been asked by many single parents during the ongoing course of the COVID- 19 pandemic and came up again in our recent webinar with charity Gingerbread.
Hopefully as the “unlocking” of the country continues these issues will begin to ease but for now here’s some further information.
The guidance on shared parenting to date
If you are a single parent, or share custody of a child/children with your ex-partner, the child/children are able to move between the households of both parents.
It is deemed appropriate where there is a contact arrangement or where parents live apart that the children are able to continue visiting both sets of parents and staying overnight.
“Where parents do not live in the same household, children under 18 years old can be moved between their parents’ homes.”
Although the guidance talks about two households this is the same for each of your children and so you can have them and they can visit the other parent as you would have previously.
However, all adults in those households must be in agreement to this. The parents should make a sensible decision reviewing the circumstances, including the children’s present health, the risk of infection and the presence of any recognised vulnerable individuals in one household or the other. If all adults in the household are also continuing to work away from home that should also be taken into consideration for the risk of infection being passed around.
Be mindful of other adults and households
If either or one parent has a partner who does not live with them and they have children with whom they share care with a different household, you must be mindful that this will effectively result in three households mixing if they come and stay overnight at the same time. This is current prohibited under the current guidelines.