To be isolated from family and friends during this pandemic is difficult but it is all the more lonely and isolating for parents who live separated from their children.
Parental rights to children have not gone away during this period and in fact should, where at all possible, be rigidly adhered to. There are however some cases where one parent has taken advantage of the pandemic to cancel or curtail access agreements or Court Orders to the other parent without any just cause. This pandemic is no excuse for such behaviour and this view has been supported by the Courts, the Law Society and family law associations.
There should be no confusion or doubt at the present time in relation to access and parents should take the necessary steps to continue all contact arrangements with their children. After all, as we exist in constant confinement with our family, what could be better but for the children to have the variety of two homes and parents to enjoy a welcome break in order to alleviate stress within the family.
It is not a time to be confused or without legal support which in most cases will not be necessary, but for the exceptions be aware that all rights of custody and access remain and should be implemented during our confinement. Guidance is also available from the Law Society confirming movement of children between separated parents during this period.
For further information please contact Mary Hayes