House of Commons briefing on Coronavirus and contact

The House of Commons Library has published an extremely helpful Briefing Paper on Coronovirus : Separated Families and Contact with Children in Care FAQs (UK): CBP-8901 (1).

It pulls together a number of threads that concern parents who do not live together including UK-wide law and agencies, such us the Child Maintenance Service (CMS), and the arrangements and expectations that are administered separately in the four UK nations.

Shared Parenting Scotland National Manager, Ian Maxwell, says, ”This is a very useful document. We get a steady flow of enquiries about crossborder contact arrangements where one parent lives in one jurisdiction and the children and the other parent are in another. It is instructive to see that to all intents and purposes the law and the guidance is identical in all parts of the UK. They all state that travel for children to continue contact arrangements is an exception to the over all restrictions. There needs to be common sense and the guidance across the UK encourages parents to work together on behalf of their children.

It is also good to gather together the various statements from the CMS. There’s no doubt that the emergency and consequent changes in income through redundancy and job furlough for one or both parents is creating major financial difficulties. It is helpful to see that the CMS recognises that both ‘the paying’ and ‘the receiving’ parent are likely to be in distress because of factors beyond their control.”