COVID-19 and the Movement of Children in Divorced Households
Updated: Apr 2, 2020
There seems to be a lot of confusion and uncertainty with regards to how divorced couples should handle the movement of their children during the lockdown in South Africa.
A recent Government Gazette published on 30 March 2020 gives clear and unambiguous rules regarding this:
Movement of children between co-holders of parental responsibilities during the lockdown period is prohibited. This is to ensure that the child is not exposed to any possible infection whilst moving from primary caregiver premises to the other.
The child must remain in the custody of the parent with whom the child was with, when lockdown period started.
The parent who is not with the child during the lockdown period may, in order to maintain a personal relationship with the child, communicate on a regular basis with the child in any other manner, including telephone or any other form of electronic communication which may also include skype, WhatsApp or video call.
Co-holders of parental responsibilities and rights must communicate with their child or children including communicating what COVID-19 is and the temporary precautionary measures that are applied to contain the spread of COVID-19.
I hope this helps to clarify the situation. The full gazette can be viewed at http://www.saflii.org/images/socialdev.pdf (refer to Section 6(m))
Stay healthy and safe!