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Can I see my children during lockdown? Government answers key questions for separated parents

The Government has this week published updated guidance on the movement of children between separated parents.

It comes after family lawyers raised concerns over confusion of social distancing rules and the ability to see children in different households.

The new guidance addresses key questions, including the movement of children between the homes of separated parents, how parents can comply with court orders for contact, and the financial impact of Covid-19 on maintenance payments, among others.

However, it is not intended to address the specific circumstances of any individual or family.

According to the guidance published by the UK Government, where parents do not live in the same household, children under 18 “can be moved” between their parents’ homes to continue existing arrangements for access and contact – establishing an exception to mandatory social distancing rules.

Parents have also raised concerns over the ability to pay maintenance to a former partner, or over missed payments.

The guidance states that where income has changed because you are self-isolating, have lost your job, or are receiving temporary statutory sick pay (SSP), you must contact the Child Maintenance Service to reduce your payments.

Meanwhile, if you are a parent who has not received scheduled maintenance payments, the CMS advises that it is “not currently contacting paying parents about missing payments” and “parents may have to wait longer to get money that’s owed to you”.

To read the full paper, please click here.

For advice in any area of family law, please get in touch with our expert team.

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Peter Burden

Peter Burden

Associate Director and Head of the Family Department at Mander Hadley Solicitors
I am experienced in all areas of family law, including divorce, financial remedy claims, disputes over children, separation agreements, cohabitation disputes, pre and post nuptial agreements, living together agreements, non-molestation orders and occupation orders.

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