Breach of a Child Arrangements Order (or a Contact Order as they used to be known) is a very serious matter and the person who has been denied the contact under the Order can apply for enforcement measures. Such measures include being ordered to undertake unpaid work and/or being ordered to pay financial compensation to the other parent. The Family Court will also take a very dim view in future Court proceedings of a parent who has breached a Court Order without very good reason.
Parents will, therefore, be rightly concerned if they feel unable to comply with a Court Order. However, on an application for enforcement, the Court will consider whether or not the parent who is in breach of the Order had a ‘reasonable excuse’. Where a parent and/or child are genuinely self-isolating in accordance with the government guidance, this will undoubtedly be seen as a ‘reasonable excuse’. However, the Court would no doubt expect that the parent who was in breach should as far as possible accommodate any reasonable request from the other parent to make up the time they have missed out on.
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