Co parenting after a separation or divorce can often be a bit of a minefield especially at first, although in our experience, given time, things settle down into a routine.
At the moment, of course, getting into a routine in such uncertain circumstances can be harder, and a difficult situation is made much much worse by how worried everyone in. Worry leads to stress, and stress leads to arguments.
Many things are uncertain at this time and now the government has decided to close schools until further notice, parents will have a whole new list of questions regarding care, access and self-isolation.
Maybe you are going through a divorce and have minor children to consider during this time, or maybe you have a child arrangement order in place, and you are considering how this is going to work.
Existing orders will not automatically change during a time of emergency or pandemic, and it’s unlikely that they cover a situation like this. Nevertheless, it’s still worth looking at the order as a starting point, to see if it gives you any guidance, such as what happens in school holidays and what happens if one parent is unwell. Ideally, if the order doesn’t help you, you would negotiate something with your other half, with what is in the best interests of the children being at the heart of your discussions.
Questions you should consider are whether shared care is even possible, and what the risks are to the children’s physical health if they are moving backwards and forwards between you.
If the children are going to stay with you throughout this period, make sure that there are arrangements in place to ensure that they stay in regular contact with the other parent. Skype, phone, email, even letters. Encourage the children to write to the absent parent, draw them pictures and tell them about their day, even if all you can do is take a photograph and email it to your ex.
If the children are not with you for the moment, consider what help the other parent may need. These new arrangements may make it harder for them to get essentials like food. What can you do to help, to make life as comfortable for your children as possible. Now is not the time for point scoring, it’s a time for responsible co-parenting.
If you can’t communicate with your ex, is there are third person (friend or family member) that could help out.
Ultimately, communication is key and if you are going to be co-parenting through these uncertain times, then if possible, reaching an agreement on how to handle the childcare and arrangements will be best for all involved.
However, at Kleyman’s we understand that this is sometimes easier said than done and coming to an agreement is often a lot easier with a lawyer as a negotiator. If you find yourself in a complicated position, have a quick couple of questions or want our help in any other way then phone us on 0203 887 8741 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org for free impartial advice.
Kleyman and Co Solicitors. The full-service law firm. Offering you clarity during the uncertainty.