Access to Children during Covid 1907th Apr 2020
The COVID 19 pandemic cannot be used as an excuse to prevent separated parents having contact with their children. Access orders issued by the courts remain in place and a parent who denies access or contact may be in breach of a court order .
I appeared in court last week in such a case which was reported in the media and I have attached the links below. In my opinion courts should be the last resort . Parents need to take a common sense approach to access and if necessary come up with alternative arrangements where it becomes unsafe for children to move between households . This can include more telephone contact , facetime , skype etc to allow children have extensive contact with the other parent. If an alternative arrangement can be agreed then same should be recorded in writing .
Unfortunately not all parents will be able to agree to an alternative and therefore may need to consider mediation or an application to court . The courts are still dealing with urgent cases involving domestic violence and vulnerable people.
Applications for breach of access are not generally considered to be urgent, but there may be exceptional cases and you should seek the advice of your solicitor . If you wish to seek advice from Frank Doherty solicitor please email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Frank on 0872867887
RTE Radio 1 clip:
New directives re: access