Guidelines for homes in different Alert Level regions
As of Wednesday 29 September 2021, parents/caregivers can now continue to share the care of their children in all parts of the country, despite being in different Alert Levels.
In the event that a child (and parent/caregiver transporting them) is required to travel between regions that are in different Alert Levels to continue shared care, parents/caregivers are recommended to take evidence of:
The care arrangements in place (e.g. Parenting Order, formalised Parenting Agreement);
Contact details of all parties (and lawyers if necessary); and
Negative Covid test results.
Parents/caregivers should consider and discuss whether there would be any safety concerns for the child (or people in the respective homes) should a shared care arrangement continue between different homes (and particularly, different Alert levels). If so, then it might be best for a child to stay in one home until agreed otherwise.
When parents/caregivers agree that care arrangements between two homes in different levels is inappropriate (for whatever reason), they should consider alternative ways to ensure contact continues, e.g. video call, telephone, etc.
Parents/caregivers are also recommended to consider the following if a shared care arrangement continues between two homes:
Who will be responsible for transporting the child?
How will the changeover occur at each (or either) home?
Whether public transport is required to transport the child?
When determining ongoing care arrangements for a child, in any circumstance, parents/caregivers should disregard their own conflict/disputes and must have consideration for what is in the best interests of that child.
Should a dispute arise regarding care arrangements during Level 3, we can assist you. We can help you with negotiating and formalising care arrangements (whether temporary or ongoing), preparing for Family Dispute Resolution (mediation), and/or preparing or responding to proceedings filed in the Family Court. Get in touch with our team here.