Can I get temporary custody of my children during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Our legal expert Nathan Wright, answers your questions during such uncertain times.

Can I get temporary custody of my children during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Q.   I have two children who live with my former partner who has been described as a key worker during this dreadful pandemic. Because of this she has insisted on sending our children to school. I am at my wits end as I think she is placing them at risk of contracting Coronavirus. I believe she is just being difficult for the sake of it, because I work part time from home and could easily care for the children. So, they really do not have to go to school at all. Is there anything I can do to force her to let me look after them in my home for the time being while the country is in crisis?

A.   Where parents cannot agree about child arrangements one will usually need to make an application to the Court. When deciding what Order to make, which in your case is whether the children should attend school or not, the court will look at a number of criteria as set out in the children act 1989. These criteria are commonly referred to as the welfare checklist.

Ultimately, the Court will make their decision based on what they believe is in the children’s best interests. One of the criteria the court are required to consider is the child’s short term and long-term physical, emotional and educational needs. To this end they will consider which parent is best placed to provide these needs and this will usually be based on evidence that has been submitted to the court. To achieve the best chance of providing what you clearly believe to be the safest option for your children, you should make an appointment to speak to a family solicitor as soon as possible. For safety reasons some solicitors such as ourselves are currently conducting telephone appointments, so do be patient as call volumes will be higher than usual.

Further information relating to this question is available from Nathan Wright, a Partner with GHP Legal.  For an appointment visit or contact one of our offices: Oswestry 01691 659194, Chirk 01691 777949, Wrexham 01978 291456, Llangollen 01978 860313.  We offer free legal diagnostic clinics (no appointment necessary). In Oswestry, Wednesdays 12noon-3pm for Personal Injury, Employment & Family matters.  In Wrexham, Mondays 9.30am-12noon for Employment matters, 12noon – 3pm for Personal Injury & Family matters. GHP Legal is authorised and regulated by the SRA 51566, and Lexcel Accredited.


  • Published on 25th March 2020