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Shared parenting during coronavirus

What if my partner or ex-partner and I both look after our children but live in separate homes?

If you and your partner live in separate homes but take turns to look after your children, you can continue to do this. If there is a court order or formal agreement in place, you should try to stick to the arrangements it sets out. The Lord President has now issued guidance on compliance with court orders. This is available here (click on ‘Guidance on Compliance with Family Court Orders 27.03.20’).

If you have a more informal arrangement with your partner or ex-partner, you’ll need to discuss what’s best for your kids. The guidance issued by the Lord President is also helpful to follow when considering whether informal arrangements should be changed. When you’re travelling between homes, try to avoid public transport if you can and stay 2 metres away from other people. If it's not possible to keep face to face contact, for example if either household has symptoms, you should try and maintain regular contact virtually using for example FaceTime, WhatsApp or Skype.

Where can I go for information and help?

The Scottish Government are unable to provide individual advice. Most organisations are still offering support over the phone, by email or information is available on their websites.

ClanChildlaw can provide free advice on children’s rights and the law. Their phone number is 0808 129 0522.

Grandparents Apart UK provides support to grandparents and is dedicated to help grandparents keep in touch with their grandchildren. Further information is available on their website.

Parentline Scotland provides advice to families. Further information is available on their website.

Relationships Scotland provides support to parents who live apart through their mediation, Parenting Apart and child contact centre services. Further information is available on their website.

If you have concerns about domestic abuse, please contact the Scotland’s Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helplinewhich is 0800 027 1234. Webchat and email support is also available.

The Scottish Child Law Centre also provides advice and information about children’s rights and child law. Please email advice@sclc.org.uk if you have any queries. If you are a child or young person under the age of 21 there is a helpline – free from a mobile 0300 330 1421 or from a landline 0800 328 8970.

You may want to speak to Shared Parenting Scotland. Their phone number is 0131 557 2440.

If you have an ongoing court case you can find up-to-date information on the Scottish Courts & Tribunals website about court closures and court business generally.