Parent – Child contact during COVID-19 epidemic
Q: What are the options if the parent with whom the child does not live in custody insists on exercising the contact with the child in accordance with a final court decision, court settlement or interim order, or in case that the parent with whom the child lives prevents contacts determined by a final court decision, court settlement or interim order?
A: Neither the law nor any other legal title currently regulates exercising the right to contact with the child in time of emergency. Therefore, parents are obliged to try to reach a mutual agreement regarding the contacts which should be in the best interests of the child.
If during the epidemic contacts cannot be exercised in accordance with the existing final court decision, court settlement or interim order and parents are unable to agree otherwise, a claim for a (new) interim order can be filed according to the Claim Enforcement and Security Act, with which the court temporarily determines the exercise of contacts between one of the parents and the child. An interim order may be issued either for the purpose of prohibiting contact with the child because of the risk of infection or because one of the parents unjustifiably prevents contacts. In each case, the courts give a decision, taking into account all circumstances of each particular case and the best interest of the child.
If one of parents prevents the contact determined by a final court decision, the court settlement or interim order, the other parent may in accordance with the Claim Enforcement and Security Act also initiate enforcement proceedings for the contact with the child.