Two months into 2021 and we’ve already seen snap lockdowns and state border closures across the country. For separated parents and their kids these ever changing circumstances present many challenges.
It’s important to know that COVID-19, travel restrictions and lockdowns should not be used as an excuse not to comply with parenting orders or arrangements and the courts won’t look favourably upon it.
Court Orders and written Parenting Agreements provide an exemption to travel and lockdown restrictions – including the 5km rule, limitations on household visitors and interstate travel. That means:
- you can travel outside of your 5km radius to take or collect your children from the other parent, and;
- children can visit the home of the other parent.
Interstate travel is a little bit trickier. While a Court Order or Parenting Agreement provides an exemption and allows the child to travel, quarantine requirements still remain. Ideally, parents should work together to find a solution if this is the case. If travel and quarantine simply isn’t possible or practical, plan to make up the missed time when borders reopen and ensure the child has regular phone or Facetime contact with the other parent during this time.