COVID -19 - Shared Parenting at Level 3 – A return to normal?
New guidance has been released around shared parenting now that New Zealanders have entered into Level 3. Following on from the tight restrictions in Level 4 parents will welcome the changes now that we are in Level 3.
Follow your Agreement / Order
If you have either a court order (parenting order) under the Care of Children Act 2004 or simply have a private arrangement then the guidance is now that parenting agreements and orders should be followed at Level 3. Parenting agreements should be followed at Level 3. The expectation is that at Level 3 parenting agreements and orders should return to normal to the greatest extent possible.
As we all know at alert Level 3 household bubbles can be extended. This means that children are no longer limited to moving between only two bubbles, for example if your child is entering a home that has children from a third house this is now acceptable. We want people to exercise judgement to minimise risk and we urge people to be cautious in their unique circumstances and use their best judgement when it comes to extending bubbles. No two households ever look the same.
In the event both parties agree there is a risk and the parenting agreement is still suspended video contact and telephone contact is highly encouraged.
No restriction on travel
There is no restriction on the distance of travel as there was with Level 4, children can now move between different regions. Please take a copy of your agreement or order with you if you are travelling for this purpose and again still exercise caution and minimise travel where you can.
Pick up and Drop off
The use of private vehicles is optimum, however the use of public transport is still an available option if there is no other alternative.
When a child should not be moving between bubbles
Children should not be moving between bubbles if they are unwell. They can resume going between homes once they are well again;
When someone from the child’s home is unwell, or someone involved (i.e. the child or people in the home they have been in or will go to) has been overseas in the last 14 days, OR has been in close contact with someone who is currently being tested for COVID-19 OR has been in close contact with someone who has the virus or is being tested.
Please be sensible in any given case. The overall goal is still to reduce the spread and limit the exposure of Covid 19. Level 3 may look different between households so please call for a chat if you are unsure, our Amanda Fitzgibbon and our Relationships team are always here to help.