Shared custody and childcare

Guidance for parents, carers and whānau on managing shared custody, childcare and childcare providers.

Shared parenting at Alert Level 1

At Alert Level 1, parenting arrangements can be as normal.

Stay safe at Alert Level 1

At Alert Level 1, we still need to play it safe. We all need to be ready in case COVID-19 comes back into the community.

To be ready at Alert Level 1:

  • practise good hygiene
  • stay home if you’re sick
  • get tested if you have cold, flu or COVID-19 symptoms
  • wear face coverings on public transport and domestic flights
  • keep track of where you’ve been and who you’ve seen.

Get more advice on living at Alert Level 1, including keeping your distance, and contact tracing for businesses

Shared parenting at Alert Level 2

At Alert Level 2, parenting arrangements can be as normal.

Household bubbles do not need to be maintained, and you can connect with friends and family in a safe way.

It's safe to send your children to schools, early learning services and tertiary education. Appropriate measures will be in place.

Education at Alert Level 2

Travelling for parenting purposes

Children can travel freely for the purpose of parenting arrangements. There's no restriction on distance for domestic travel.

Children still should not move between households if they show cold, flu or COVID-19 symptoms, are awaiting a test or are required to self-isolate. Make sure you travel in a safe way and follow public health measures.

Public transport is available to everyone at Alert Level 2. Keep in mind that there’s less capacity on public transport because of physical distancing so if you can, consider travelling at off-peak times or walking or cycling. You should not travel on public transport if you’re unwell.

Information on how to stay safe while using public transport

Legal advice and Family Court

Lawyers and other legal services are available during Alert Level 2 — physical consultations will need to follow public health measures.

You can find a list of legal aid lawyers on the Ministry of Justice website or you may be eligible for assistance from a Community Law Centre.

If you have a dispute on shared parenting the Family Court may be able to assist.

Information about Family Court services under Alert Level 2 (external link)

If you were doing Family Dispute Resolution check with your provider. These services will be available under Alert Level 2 but the way they are delivered may change, including doing some of the programme by phone or online.

Call 0800 COURTS (0800 268 787) if you need other information about Family Court.

Make sure children are safe and cared for

If you’re worried that a child or young person you know is not safe or being cared for, or you know a child who has been separated from their parents or caregivers, contact Oranga Tamariki.

Call 0508 326 459, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week or email 

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