Q: I am separated from my children’s father. We generally get along well but have been clashing during this lockdown. We have a 5-5-2-2 share care arrangement. I don’t want the children to be going between our homes. I think it is too risky to be having frequent changeovers. Their father works a lot so the children would spend most of their time in front of screens if they go to his home. Next week when the children are supposed to be in his care, I want to take my 14-year-old son with me to get vaccinated when I do. If the Government’s instructions are to stay home and limit interaction with others, does this mean I can just keep the children with me until the lockdown lifts?

Answer: The latest Covid-19 alert level 4 lockdown has been challenging for everyone. This is especially true for separated parents trying to co-parent. The current lockdown is the most restrictive since the first lockdown last year and the first in a long time for those outside Auckland. The Delta variant is also more transmissible and more likely to affect children, increasing stress for parents.

Continuing shared care

Lockdown should not be used as an excuse for one parent to change a shared care arrangement unilaterally. The Family Court has made it clear that doing so will not be looked upon kindly by the Court. Where possible, children should continue to see both parents.

Read the rest of the article on the NZ Herald.