Managing shared care arrangements in lockdown
We understand that the implications of lockdown can have a big effect on shared care arrangements for separated parents. Here are some tips to help get through this time.
- Stay up to date with your state government public health orders via the NSW Government Health website available here or other state websites if you reside outside of NSW).
- Be aware that there have been throughout the entirety of the COVID-19 pandemic exceptions for shared care arrangements to allow children to travel to and from individual houses if they are subject to Court Orders or ongoing normal parenting arrangements. As such, ordinarily, you are allowed to travel in and out of local government areas and beyond the 10km radius from your house restriction that is currently in place to enable and attend to changeovers for your children.
- Endeavour to be patient and co-operative with each other. It is a trying time for every parent, child and family. This is particularly so in circumstances where you are required to home school, work from home and may have financial pressures mounting. However it is important, as best you can, to try and work together for the sake of your children.
Review your current Court Orders, Parenting Plan or other arrangements
Consider whether they need updating and/or amending for the interim period during the lockdown. For example, do you need to change:
- Orders about week to week time and/or time during the ‘school hours’;
- Telephone time schedules;
- Clauses about updating each other as to your child’s health; or
- Consider minimising changeovers for the COVID period and agree to ‘make-up’ time at a later date.
Speak to your lawyer
We appreciate that often friends and family will seek to provide advice as to your situation and/or compare their situation to yours. However, every family situation is different, the children’s and parent’s needs differ and different arrangements have historically been in place. Therefore it is important to comply and work with the situation that is best for you and your family.
Some other useful tips
- Engage in an online mediation or telephone mediation if required. Contact Interrelate or Relationships Australia for these services.
- Speak to your GP and/or psychologist to ensure your mental health is maintained during this difficult time.
- Use Facetime and other video applications to engage with one another.
- Remember it is only temporary and you will get through it!
We are here to help and provide the support you need. If you would like a free 15-minute consultation to discuss your situation, please call our Family Law team on 9523 5535.