Leona Shala (Student)
This pandemic has been difficult for all of us, but it has been reported that some parents have even used it as a means to stop ex-partners from seeing their child or children. Those ignoring child court orders could end up facing legal action.
The guidance concerning parents who are living apart is very clear in that children under the ages of 18, upon sensible assessment and only if the children are not being put under any risk, can move between parents ‘homes. However, for some parents trust and communication has broken down and agreements about child visits seems to have become impossible.
Sir Andrew, who is in charge of family courts in England and Wales states that “If the parents are acting in a cynical and opportunistic manner, then that’s wrong, and the courts will regard it as wrong” .He makes it clear that anyone using the pandemic as an opportunity to stop their partner from seeing their child is wrong and could face court action.
It is made clear that child safety during the pandemic is down to the parents and the courts will not interfere with that unless that parental power is being abused to change child arrangement orders and parents are using the pandemic as an opportunity to do this.
In order to get a child arrangements order you would be expected by the courts to have tried mediation. This is where you and your partner and a mediator, who is there to help you and your partner come to an agreement and try and resolve the problem between you, get together to attempt to resolve the problem. If mediation does not work, then you would apply to the courts and complete a C100 form. The welfare of the child is paramount.
At Staffordshire Legal Advice Clinic (SULAC) we offer free legal advice on family-related matters. Students are supervised by a qualified solicitor. If you wish to book an appointment with us, then please either call us on 01782 294800 or alternatively email us at SULAC@staffs.ac.uk.