Have child custody disputes increased during the National Lockdown? Or has things gotten better?

Child Custody Disputes during the National Lockdown

Child custody disputes during the Covid-19 pandemic and the Lockdown – What impact did the National Lockdown have on it?

With three months into the national lockdown, no one will dispute that it had a profound effect on all aspects of daily life. The same would apply to marriages, family relations and co-parenting to mention a few.

A lot has been written on the topic of the movement of children during the lockdown. At the start of the lockdown, the movement of children was prohibited. The child had to remain with the parent with whom he or she was with at the start of the lockdown.

A few weeks into the lockdown, things changed. Children could move between parents if there were a court order, parental rights and responsibilities agreement or parenting plan registered with the office of the family advocate. Later, things further developed where the magistrate’s permit came into play.

Read more above the changes to the regulations over time by clicking on this link. You would find an extensive overview of the history of the movement of children during the lockdown.

Have child custody disputes increased three months after the start of the lockdown?

One would be a fool to say that all things are the same three months after the lockdown when it comes to parental problems. At the start of the lockdown, Our Lawyer (Pty) Ltd received a lot of queries regarding regulations concerning the movement of children. This was so especially during the first few weeks.

However, looking at various analytics, including the number of queries received on its blogs, and email and telephone queries, it would seem that the numbers have not increased much if any. This is a broad assumption, and not based on any empirical data. Those numbers are in contrast to that of child maintenance disputes which have always been high during the lockdown.

What can be said about this assumed drop in numbers?

Considering the Covid-19 pandemic, and its associated lockdown, children and parents were at home for an extremely long time. Many children are still at home and some parents did not go back to work. Furthermore, many nannies are not there to assist.

During times like these, parents would set aside their differences and find common ground. If a parent decided not to allow the other parent contact, it would mean that he or she would have to care for the child the entire day and night for very long periods. This is so as the child would not be attending school and would have to be cared for and entertained the entire day. This is not only exhausting but expensive as well.

Moving forward during the lockdown

Although the economy is slowly spinning its wheels, and children are returning to school, now more than ever, parents must work together for the sake of their children, and their own sake. With jobs being lost and money being scarce, personal differences need to be put aside and the situation needs to be looked at clearly and rationally.

It would be hard for a parent to care for a child alone during the lockdown, especially if there is assistance available. Having said that, parents should continue to adequately maintain their children during this period, and ensure that all their basic needs are met.

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About the Author

Advocate South Africa

Legal Advisor for Our Lawyer (Pty) Ltd
Call 0211110090
For appointments: https://www.ourlawyer.co.za/advice

2 thoughts on “Have child custody disputes increased during the National Lockdown? Or has things gotten better?

  1. I am am an unemployed stay at home mom going through an ugly separation following a domestic dispute. My husband has a team of attorneys and I have nothing as he won’t cover for me to also obtain legal representation. What can I do?

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