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What does it mean for the visitation or care arrangement if my children are in quarantine with my ex-partner because of Corona?

reading time 2 minutes published on 07 April 2020

Due to the measures taken to prevent the spread of the Corona virus, schools, public facilities, restaurants and stores have been closed for several weeks now and the majority of people are working at home.

In the current circumstances, it is important that parents comply as much as possible with the agreements made by them on the visitation or care arrangement, or that the arrangement established by the court is complied with as much as possible. The coronavirus in itself is no reason to deny access to the other parent. If a child is healthy and the parents feel well, the child can stay with both parents by arrangement.

However, not in all circumstances it is possible to carry out the visitation or care arrangement as usual. This is not possible if one of the parents has a vital job or if someone in the family has health problems. When one of the parents and/or the child shows signs of illness, the rule applies that the entire family must stay at home (Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport, Hugo de Jonge, during the press conference on March 23, 2020: “When one member of the family has a fever, the entire family must stay at home”). Due to the mandatory quarantine, the visitation arrangement can in that case temporarily not be fulfilled. This does not mean that there is no contact at all between the child and the other parent. The parent where the child stays in quarantine must facilitate the child’s contact with the other parent. This can be done, for example, by having the child and that parent (video) phone each other.

In the current situation, it is of the utmost importance that parents follow the instructions of the government. In this unusual time, these take precedence over the implementation of the visitation or care arrangement. It is important that the parents keep talking to each other and try to make arrangements about the care of their child in Corona time. Under normal circumstances it is possible to start emergency proceedings (“kort geding”) if one of the parents does not comply with a visitation or care arrangement without a good reason. However, the courts are currently closed due to Covid-19 and only urgent cases will proceed. This does not include the (temporary) non-compliance to comply with a visitation or care arrangement, unless there are special circumstances.

Do you have questions about the implementation of a visitation or care arrangement in Corona time? Please do not hesitate to contact us.

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