With the harshest lockdown measures in the country imposed on South Australia with less than 12 hours’ notice, there has been uncertainty with regards to whether it is ok to leave home to comply with shared parenting arrangements.
It was confirmed at 12.01am this morning that parents and children will be permitted to leave their home for the purpose of taking children to their other parent’s premises in accordance with shared parenting arrangements (court-ordered or otherwise).
The Society is pleased that Official Directions have confirmed that child handovers under shared parenting arrangements is considered essential travel during the “circuit-breaker” which is presently due to end at midnight 24 November.
If parents have concerns that complying with shared parenting arrangements during a lockdown period could compromise the safety of themselves, their children, or the other parent, the parent who currently has the children in their care should, if safe to do so, communicate with the other parent as to their concerns and plans during the lockdown.
The Society notes that families are obliged to adhere to court ordered parenting arrangements unless there is a reasonable excuse not to. Penalties can be imposed for failing to comply with Court orders, and the Court sets a high bar for what constitutes a reasonable excuse.
If there is any uncertainty or disagreement with regards to shared parenting arrangements during the lockdown, parents should consider seeking legal advice. The Law Society hosts a legal referral website which can connect you to a suitable lawyer to assist you.