Redding v Pizlar [2020] NZFC 2323

Published 22 June 2020

Interim care arrangements — COVID-19 — Level 4 lockdown — global pandemic — coronavirus — welfare and best interests of children — safety — shared care arrangements — travel arrangements — Care of Children Act 2004. This submissions-only hearing was held by telephone conference to determine the care arrangements for the parties' two children during the COVID-19 lockdown period. In response to the global pandemic the New Zealand Government implemented the Alert Level 4 lockdown which required people to stay home except for essential work and daily exercise. Prior to lockdown the children were in the day-today care of their mother and stayed with their father each week over one weeknight and from Friday to Sunday every second week. The issues to determine were whether the children should spend three or four nights in the care of father during lockdown and what time changeovers should occur. In order to maintain some continuity for the children, the Judge believed it was in their welfare and best interests to stay with their father for three nights per week. Changeovers were to occur at 5.00 pm at the end of each stay rather than 11:00 am as preferred by the mother. The Judge encouraged the parties to improve their communication and to stop unnecessarily criticising each other. Judgment Date: 27 March 2020.* * * Note: names have been changed to comply with legal requirements. * * *