Tier 4 – Can I still see my children?

Current guidance for separated parents: "Parents can still take their children to school, and people can continue existing arrangements for contact between parents and children where they live apart.”

We will all now have heard about the new Tier 4 which came into force on 20 December 2020. Tier 4 presently applies to London and much of the South East although the first government review is presently expected to take place on 30 December 2020.


The introduction of a new tier has inevitably, once again confused separated parents who may well now find themselves having to change their Christmas plans and who do not understand what impact this will have on them or the other parent seeing the children.

The government guidance on Tier 4 and how it applies is set out at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/tier-4-stay-at-home. At the time of writing, the guidance states that:

“Parents can still take their children to school, and people can continue existing arrangements for contact between parents and children where they live apart.”

This therefore creates the exception to the “Stay at Home” guidance, which means that parents can continue to spend time with the children in the usual way, if they do not live in the same household. Therefore, Tier 4 should have no impact on the child arrangements that have been agreed/ordered in respect of the Christmas period.

The rules also allow for travel between tiers where the ‘exceptions’ apply. Again, it appears that an exception is where the travel is in order for parents to be able to continue to spend time with their children, where their children live in a separate household to them. As such movement between Tiers 1, 2, 3 and 4 appears to be allowed where it is for the purposes of Child Arrangements.

Do remember that if a child, parent, or member of their household is self-isolating, for whatever reason, then all agreed arrangements for parents to spend time with the children during this period should not take place and those self-isolating should not leave their homes. Should such a situation arise, do consider making alternative arrangements for the children to spend time with the non-resident parent for example ensuring telephone and video contact takes place and potentially try an agree additional time for the children to spend with that parent after their period self-isolating is over.

If you have any queries concerning arrangements for your children, please do remember that we are here for you and will do what it takes to advise you through this period and hopefully make things that little bit easier for you.

Specific questions about your situation? Seek expert legal advice

We hope that this article provides a good base level of what you can do if the lockdown restrictions affect you and we appreciate that it can be a very difficult and frustrating time for parents and children alike.

Please note, each situation is different and we recommend instructing a solicitor should you wish for questions to be answered specifically about your situation. We are unable to provide free legal advice.

CONTACT SIMRAN

If you would like more information or advice relating to this article or a Family law matter, please do not hesitate to contact Simran Gupta on 01727 798065.

Read our latest Divorce & Family Law Views and Insights
Good coverage in private law children and financial work, so they are able to offer a full service to clients.
The Legal 500
Child holding hands with parent - SA Law's Dignified Divorcee
Views & Insights
The National Lockdown and Child Arrangements FAQ

Simran provides answers to FAQs about child arrangement difficulties which may arise because of the national lockdown.

Read More
SA Law Christmas tree
Views & Insights
Christmas Bubbles and the impact on children of separated parents

The unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic has had an impact on the everyday life of virtually every person in the world. Unfortunately England is no exception.…

Read More
SA Law Personal Services Red Door
Views & Insights
Considerations for moving or selling your home following separation or divorce during the Covid-19 pandemic

During the Covid-19 pandemic there are even more ambiguities to contend with when selling a home, particularly if you are also separated or divorcing.…

Read More
Child holding hands with parent - SA Law's Dignified Divorcee
Views & Insights
FAQs: Child arrangements during Covid

Answers to key questions about child arrangements during Covid including contact being refused, children visiting parents in different tiers and more.…

Read More
Divorce and family law red chair SA Law
Views & Insights
Shopping for Divorce

Family Partner, Kiran Beeharry writes about the impact of Brexit on the divorce process.

Read More
SA Law Lighbulbs
Views & Insights
SA Law thank clients for exceptional feedback in Chambers & Partners

SA Law achieves recognition for four of its teams, as well as for six individual lawyers in the 2021 Chambers & Partners research.

Read More
I found SA Law to be very organised and – importantly for me – they were very transparent about the costs, something I found very refreshing from a law…
The Legal 500

© SA LAW 2021

Every care is taken in the preparation of our articles. However, no responsibility can be accepted to any person who acts on the basis of information contained in them alone. You are recommended to obtain specific advice in respect of individual cases.