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Impact of Covid-19 on contact orders for child access

THE functioning of contact orders have been challenged during this pandemic causing disruption to normal contact routines for many children and parents.

The initial guidance issued from the government only added to the uncertainty and confusion which unfortunately led to further fragmentation in many instances of already fragile parental relationships.

The need for contact orders usually arises due to a breakdown in communication between parents and where there is mistrust. In the current pandemic variations may be needed to contact orders due to public health advice.

With access to courts being impacted resolution of issues hit an impasse where communication fails. Contact should be maintained for the benefit of the children as long as it is safe to do so.

If not then contact should be facilitated by alternate indirect means as circumstances allow such as Facetime for example. This puts the onus on parents to resolve matters themselves which has varying outcomes depending on the relationship.

The guidance issued by the Lord Chief Justice emphasises that courts will take into consideration the reasons for variation of contact orders in any future court applications and there may be an expectation to make up for missed contact when things return to normal.

Emma Fox can assist with any queries you have in relation to Contact Orders, to include the option of Family Mediation. It is important to get the right advice from the Start so if you need help then contact Emma on 028 8225 7722. Stay Safe.

Law as it should be.

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