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Should GC go to contact visits to gather on lockdown ?

(30 Posts)
Jaffacake2 Mon 23-Mar-20 22:18:10

I would welcome opinions please on our current family dilemma.
My daughter was left with 2 children nearly 2 years ago when her husband left the family home. They are separated ,not yet divorced. Children are 2yrs and 4 years old. They are with their father on weekends at his mother's home where he now lives.
Problem is ex husband will not communicate with my daughter,even when children have been ill. His mother is worse and will not speak at all unless being abusive to daughter. Now with the corona virus daughter has been observing social distance and staying at home to help protect children and herself from infection. But ex and his family will not say what they are doing for protection or to safeguard children's health.
Should the children still go to his place each weekend or should they stay based with their mother ?

Hetty58 Mon 23-Mar-20 22:22:51

I think it would be a very good reason to keep them at home with their mother for now. After all, the advice is to not visit family. Your daughter won't want to risk being fined!

Jaffacake2 Mon 23-Mar-20 22:23:07

Sorry mistyped should GC go to contact visits to father on lockdown

Marilla Mon 23-Mar-20 22:23:16

My interpretation may be wrong, but I think we are told to stay ‘at home’. As the girls live with mum the majority of the week, that would be considered home for them.
These are extraordinary times and although very difficult to keep the father happy, no one is supposed to be out unless buying food or medical supplies.

Callistemon Mon 23-Mar-20 22:36:56

I think you need expert advice, not our opinions and this question has asked by someone earlier today on local TV.
You may be able to find the answer on a government site or you could enquire through official channels.

Good luck

Marilla Mon 23-Mar-20 22:39:25

Update: You should not meeting with family members who do not LIVE in your home. This is what was said in the Prime Minister’s speech. I hope this will help clarify what you need to know,

Jaycee5 Mon 23-Mar-20 22:45:58

If access is court ordered, you can't just change it and although it is frustrating for the parent with the bulk of the care, there is no obligation to clear any arrangements or discuss anything. Some parents have no communication at all.
If it has been arranged by the parties, then it might be easier, but as others have said, either way your daughter needs to take advice from people who know.
Remember that access is the children's right to see their father.

Sussexborn Mon 23-Mar-20 22:48:07

Best to just say you are keeping the GC at home because that’s what the law says and keep repeating it if necessary. Is the ex’s family on social media? Are they stating opinions that show they are disregarding the govt instructions. If so make sure you keep the evidence in case there is trouble in the future.

Callistemon Mon 23-Mar-20 22:49:45

If he cares at all about them he will forego his rights for the time being.

Please check through official channels.

grannyactivist Mon 23-Mar-20 23:06:30

I see your dilemma Jaffacake2. Do you have any reason to suppose that their father (or grandmother) won't be following government advice?

In these unsettled times I think changes in routine for small children should be kept to an absolute minimum, so unless I was worried for their safety I would let them go.

ElaineI Mon 23-Mar-20 23:37:19

The lockdown rules are to protect everyone from a potentially fatal virus so if the father and grandmother wish to risk their lives (all of them including children's) then they are not fit to look after them. The rules Boris laid down were very clear so no they should not go and stay at home! This is an extra-ordinary situation for the world!

Hetty58 Mon 23-Mar-20 23:53:24

grannyactivist, it's not possible to let them go without disobeying the rules. Jaffacake's daughter needs to seek clarification on this before allowing it.

welbeck Tue 24-Mar-20 00:02:03

he doesn't communicate, so maybe she doesn't need to.
just keep the children with her, if that forces him to communicate she can say she is following govt regulations, pro tem.
what can he do. ?go to law, unlikely. how long will that take. wont be a priority at the moment.
document everything.

Madgran77 Tue 24-Mar-20 07:33:45

Get some legal advice if you can! Especially if access is court ordered.

On present advice it looks like they should not be going

Hetty58 Tue 24-Mar-20 07:43:57

Michael Gove on BBC1 just said that 'under eighteens can see both parents'.

Jaffacake2 Tue 24-Mar-20 07:46:14

Thank you for your thoughts. My daughter tried to discuss it with him on the phone and just had a lot of swearing abuse at her. She has decided to keep kids with her in lockdown as she has no confidence in him or his family to follow government ruling.
There is not a court order so not sure how legally she would stand . But unlikely he would find a solicitor at present to challenge her actions which she believes safeguards the children.

GrannyGravy13 Tue 24-Mar-20 07:50:14

Hetty58 Michael Gove has appeared on GMB and BBC this morning and has made conflicting statements on this in the matter of 5 minutes.

Hetty58 Tue 24-Mar-20 07:51:21

The courts aren't even operating at present. If your daughter is happy to keep them at home, she has a perfectly valid reason - safety concerns!

Hetty58 Tue 24-Mar-20 07:53:05

Legally, the word 'can' (or 'may') means there is no compulsion to comply. Only the word 'must' is a direction!

GrannyGravy13 Tue 24-Mar-20 07:54:52

Our GC are staying here with us and DD, they can argue over the intricacies of the Court Order when this emergency is over.

Jaffacake2 Tue 24-Mar-20 08:00:29

Daughters ex husband has said that he will carry on working as a self employed plasterer as he needs the money. So he is not following advice to keep away from others. His brother also intends working through lockdown . Children are then at greater risk of virus as they will have had multiple contacts in the family.
If anyone knows exactly what Gove said please let me know ? Thank you for all your thoughts

GrannyLaine Tue 24-Mar-20 08:03:08

Jaffacake2 under present circumstances I think the moral imperative of protecting ourselves, our family and the wider community overrides ANY other arrangement.

GrannyGravy13 Tue 24-Mar-20 08:09:06

Jaffacake2 sounds similar to DD situation, we are bracing ourselves for the abusive phone calls in the coming days.

He is not good at following rules and if he can work on the side he will. DD will arrange face time and have phone calls, GC health is uppermost.

Oopsadaisy3 Tue 24-Mar-20 08:13:03

Michael Gove has said that they can go and visit, builders are also allowed to carry on working on building sites.
This shut down is working out to be less of a shut down than I thought it would be.

Iam64 Tue 24-Mar-20 08:14:04

In the current situation, legally, the children stay with their mother. I can't imagine any Family Court criticising the mother for insisting these vulnerable, small children stay in the place they live. That would be so, even if the Court had made an order about contact.
There are so many ways to keep in touch - we haven't done our usual child care or had family visits but we're face timing, sending vids of each other. If mum is prepared to do that - problem solved.