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Child Arrangements Orders

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 18th May 2020.

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Photo of Hilary Benn Hilary Benn Chair, Committee on the Future Relationship with the European Union, Chair, Committee on the Future Relationship with the European Union

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how Childcare Arrangement Orders are currently being enforced in respect of extended family members who have such an order in cases when access is being denied.

Photo of Alex Chalk Alex Chalk Assistant Whip, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

The President of the Family Division has issued guidance on compliance with Child Arrangements Orders. A parent who is required by such an order to facilitate contact between their child and the other parent, or with another person named in the order, should continue to do so where practicable and consistent with the Government’s updated guidance.

Where coronavirus restrictions cause the letter of a court order to be varied, the spirit of the order should nevertheless be delivered by making safe alternative arrangements for the child. Where either parent is reasonably self-isolating or genuinely protecting someone vulnerable then remote technology offers temporary alternative means by which to facilitate contact via telephone, the internet or social media which should be used. The Government encourages parents to adopt a pragmatic approach.

If an alleged breach of a Child Arrangements Order or other application is later brought to court then this will be a matter for judicial consideration.

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