Expatriate Law and ExpatChild teamed up at the start of this global pandemic to disseminate vital information to families in need. By sharing these questions and answers via social media, we hope we were able to reach as many people as possible, when they needed it.
Now it’s time to add this series to ExpatChild so the information is available through Google searches and more.
This was originally posted on the ExpatChild Facebook page on 24th March 2020, and further on social media. You can view the original here.
Can I just have the kids during the COVID-19 state of emergency?
“My husband is pressuring me to arrange contact. His new partner is a nurse, and he works as a pilot for a large airline. We both live in the UK.
I don’t want my kids around her or him given their potential levels of exposure to the virus. He has not self-quarantined after his most recent trip (I saw him in a bar drinking on a friends Facebook two days ago ).
Can I cease access until this settles? If mandatory quarantine is compulsory, will the children stay with him or me? I’m terrified he will try to keep them!”
This is a very concerning time for everyone, especially parents who are separated. You will need to make some tough decisions about what is and is not appropriate for your children and in their best interests.
Ultimately, it is always best to try and reach an agreement with the father about where those boundaries should be, even if they are temporary ones to accommodate the difficult times we are all in.
Hopefully he would be understanding of your position and be willing to accommodate such reasonable requests. A lawyer can help you draft a letter to him (which you can send from yourself or the lawyer, depending on what message you want to send).
However, if you are unable to reach an agreement on what is required to keep your children safe then you might need to make an application to the Court. Even though Coronavirus/Covid-19 has changed the way Courts now work, it is still possible to make an application and have a hearing: the only difference is that it will be conducted remotely.
We have been doing remote meetings and hearings for years at Expatriate Law, and so we are well used to dealing with them. They actually are much easier to attend and deal with because you do not have to travel, and the experience can be a lot less daunting.
A lawyer can advise you on alternatives to court such as negotiation through solicitors, mediation or arbitration (all of which can be undertaking remotely via video link or telephone).
The message to all parents should be, do not feel you must compromise on your children’s safety because you do not feel there is a remedy available to you. There certainly is a solution applying English principles of child welfare, and such principles are often applicable/available to you even if you are living outside of England.
If you have been affected by any of these issues and would like to receive further advice then please do get in touch with us via our website expatriatelaw.com or email email@example.com.
We are currently providing telephone and video appointments.
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Alexandra Tribe: firstname.lastname@example.org
Managing Partner www.expatriatelaw.com
Expatriate Law : +44 203 006 1664
F: +44 808 280 0130