Shared parenting can be challenging in ‘normal’ circumstances. Add in a global pandemic and it appears to become almost impossible. Here at Hickman Family Lawyers, we’ve been getting a lot of questions about how to manage custody arrangements during coronavirus.
To answer these, our family lawyers have put together some tips on how to effectively co-parent throughout the current coronavirus crisis.
The Best Interests Of The Children
No matter whether you are co-parenting with or without a formal agreement in place, the most important thing to remember is this: all parents/carers must act in the best interests of their children.
During a pandemic such as COVID-19, all parents/carers need to look at what arrangements are going to be best for the children, not the parents. Parents have a responsibility to ensure the health, welfare, and safety of their children and that must come before any parental rights to see your children.
As long as it is safe to do so, try to keep communication channels between you and your ex-partner clear.
Talk to each other regularly if needed, which may be often necessary given how frequently rules and regulations are changing, both on a state and national level here in Australia.
If you have concerns about how your communication may be interpreted, keep all your conversations written rather than verbal. That way, you’ll have a trail of your conversations via text or email to refer back to if needed.
In WA, you can get the latest COVID-19 updates from the government online here.
Keep up to date with local area movement restrictions. If you usually co-parent across regional or state lines, make sure that you know what the current regulations are seeing as many state borders are closed, and regional movement in WA is restricted as well.
There are exemptions being granted for certain individuals when it comes to entering and exiting the regions and state border of WA. This could include those with court orders, or if dependents need to cross the border in order to be cared for in another region or state, if their primary carer is unable to care for them.
The full details of the current border directions for WA can be found here.
If you are unsure if you would be classified as an exempt person, speak to one of our family lawyers in Perth today.
If one parent/carer is required to quarantine or self-isolate, this could likely mean that the other parent would need to care for the children during this period.
While it might be tricky, now is a time to work together to ensure your children are cared for properly and safely. All co-parents need to keep their children safe and healthy, and if that means keeping them away from a parent who needs to self-isolate, it should be done if it is safe to do so.
If you have any concerns about how your own custody arrangements are affected during coronavirus, contact our team of reputable family lawyers in Perth today.
We offer a free 15-minute phone consultation to help guide you through these muddy, unchartered waters.
It’s important to note that there is currently no national approach to the coronavirus situation. Each state is following its own set of rules and regulations. Watch the news and follow reputable sources of information regarding what is and isn’t allowed in your area, city, and state.