Parents must try to work together to agree any changes needed to contact arrangements for their children during these difficult times.
1. Make use of social media and video conferencing apps (Facetime, Skype etc.). This may need to be used more often than may have happened before.
2. If children are able to move safely between their parents’ homes, agree what is and is not appropriate during their time with the children. For example not taking the children to the supermarket or to a local park.
3. Agree what school work needs to be done. Draw up a timetable to follow taking into account work commitments. Make sure that the children have the books and resources they need when they are with either parent.
4. Agree additional holiday times if one parent is missing out on time with the children. Be as flexible as possible.
5. Be aware that the current situation will be causing most children anxiety and it is therefore even more crucial than ever to minimise parental conflict.
6. If you can’t agree on changes to arrangements, consider an urgent telephone/video meeting with a mediator.
If agreement is still not possible, an application can still be made to court but this should be very much a last resort and legal advice should be obtained before making any.
[The content of this article is for general information only. It is not, and should not be taken as, legal advice. John Hodge Solicitors has a Family Law team with experience in all aspects of family law, including disputes over financial matters (whether you are married or in a cohabiting relationship), children issues and divorce. Our solicitors are members of the Law Society’s Family Law Panel and Resolution and you can therefore be confident in the advice that you receive. The Family team offer can offer a free initial telephone consultation during the current period of lockdown within which they provide expert advice with no obligation.]