Wednesday | 13 May | 2020
By Sanette Viljoen
Initially the national lockdown led to the suspension of existing arrangements for coparentage and court orders as children had to stay where they were when the lockdown started and they could not move between their parents’ homes. This state of affairs has now changed.
On 7 April 2020 the Minister of Social Development published certain amendments regarding the movement of children between their parents’ homes.
The regulations now stipulate that if parents have an existing parentage plan registered with the family advocate or a court order setting out their arrangements concerning their minor children, the children may move from one household to the other in terms of the court order or the parentage plan. Parents must have the court order or parentage plan or certified copies thereof with them when they are travelling either to fetch or drop their children.
The above-mentioned amendment is, of course, subject to the household to which the child has to move being free from Covid-19. This means that before the child is allowed to move between households the parents must be as sure as possible that everybody living in that house does not have the virus and must also be sure that nobody in the house has had contact with a person who has the virus or is presenting with symptoms that look like Covid-19.
The amended regulations do not address the question of what happens if a parent or child does have the virus, but until such time as further regulations in this regard are published the understanding must be that no person who has the virus may have contact with other people and if a child is possibly infected that child may not move between households.
* All information was correct at the time of publication.