COVID-19 IN THE SITUATIONS OF GUARD AND CUSTODY AND THE COMMUNICATION REGIME FOR MINOR CHILDREN
The Governing Board of the Barcelona Bar Association, with the consensus of the Childhood and Adolescence Section and the Family Section, and with the knowledge of the Barcelona Family Courts, proposes the following recommendations in guarding situations and shared and individual custody.
Seen RD 463/2020, of March 14, declaring the state of alarm, and its articles 6, 7 e), 9 and 15 regulate the limitation on freedom of movement, limitation of freedom of movement of people, measures of containment in the educational field and measures in the field of transport.
Considering the need to protect the interest of the minor for reasons of public health, in compliance with the guardianship regime and the communication and stay regime established by judicial resolution, the Governing Board of the Barcelona Bar Association, with the consensus of the Childhood and Adolescence Section and the Family Law Section of the Culture Commission, and with the knowledge of the Barcelona Family Courts, proposes the following recommendations:
1. Parents must act adjusting the exercise of parental responsibilities to health standards.
2. Article 7, letter e) restricts the movement of people, basic services, dependent people and minors. In this sense Civil Protection allows circulation for the purposes of changes in shared custody or "similar" regime.
3. However, it does not rule on the individual guardianship regimes. In these cases, in order to comply with the communication and stays regime, the parents must agree to the modifications in the way of exercising guard time and personal relationships, meetings and stays, so that the rights of minors are guaranteed and avoid as much as possible the risks for individual and collective health. Minors are asymptomatic, but they can still infect older people, so the state of alarm foresees that schools are closed for 15 days, as well as Meeting Points.
If consensus is not reached, it is recommended that the custodial parent should be the one who remains with the minor during the 15 days of the state of alarm, thus preventing (i) visits and meetings without overnight stays from being carried out on the public highway, which is not allowed in a state of alarm and (ii) visits and meetings with overnight stays suppose an excessive transfer of minors and a risk for contagion from both family areas, to a greater extent, if there are people at risk such as the elderly / as.
This does not mean that the regime is not complied with by telephone, Skype and / or with all the electronic means necessary for the minor's contact with the non-custodial parent when appropriate, thus preserving the public health of the minor and of his family.
In the case of minor children who are 12 years of age or older than 12 years, taking into account the Convention on the Rights of the Child, exceptional circumstances must be explained to the minor and their opinions must be heard in all decisions that affect them. .
4. Finally, it must be emphasized that the best interests of children and adolescents, and in this case, their health, must prevail. The guidelines of the Ministry of Health are those that must be followed for the benefit of children and adolescents, as well as the rest of society.