Parenting arrangements during the COVID-19 pandemic

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) has impacted our ability to interact socially. Will this affect the time you or the other parent spends with your child?

Despite the chaos, parents have a positive obligation to take all reasonable steps to ensure they adhere to any agreement about parenting. Parents must ensure a child has a meaningful relationship with each of their parents. You are probably wondering how this is practical if a parent and/or child is in mandatory isolation or ‘locked’ in a different jurisdiction which prohibits movement.

Parents must be prepared to be flexible. As people work from home and children are kept home from school, it may be possible to come up with an alternative arrangement which better suits everyone’s current circumstances. Offering more time with the child once the worst of the crisis passes may be an option (i.e. a ‘make up’ arrangement). Additionally, other methods of communication, such as Facetime or Skype, should be utilised.

It is always helpful to communicate your concerns with the other parent. The Family Court encourages parents to try and reach a resolution without relying on litigation.

We understand that it is not always possible to communicate effectively with the other parent, and so we are able to assist you during this difficult time. We can provide you with strategic advice so that you maintain your relationship with your child as well as protecting everyone’s health.

We recommend that you review any parenting arrangement and consider whether it can be adapted to deal with the strict social interaction measures we are facing as a society.

If you would like our assistance, you can call our accredited family law specialist, Marie Hayter on 0426 134 179.

The information contained in this post is current at the date of publishing – 6 April 2020

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