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With unprecedented social restrictions imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, parents from blended families or parents engaged in co-parenting arrangements may encounter a number of hurdles to their normal weekly routine.

As shared care arrangements generally thrive in strict routine environments, it can be difficult for parents to adapt to change and communicate with their co-parent.

Hurdles that may arise and questions that parents may have in this current climate might include:

  1. What do I do if a border closure between the states restricts my ability to changeover the care of my children with their other parent?
  2. What do I do if someone in my family home contracts the virus, while my child is staying with their other parent? Can they come back into my care?
  3. What do I do if I am still required to attend my workplace, but the children are in my care and I don’t want to send them to school?
  4. Can I rely on my family to assist with care for my children if I am still required to attend work?
  5. If I agree with my other co-parent to alter our arrangements due to the pandemic, will we be able to revert to our previous arrangement after this is over?

Unfortunately, there are no hard and fast answers in this unprecedented time.

However, the court has issued directions to parents to continue to comply with Court Orders wherever practicable, which you can read more about here.

It is important, now more than ever, for parents to attempt to keep lines of communication open and consider what is in the best interests of their child.

If you have encountered a hurdle in relation to your shared care arrangement or you are unable to establish a workable routine with your co-parent, our experienced family lawyers can provide some insight to guide you through this challenging time.

If you are currently engaged in a family law parenting matter, it is also important to remember that the courts are also adapting to these new circumstances and that there may be small delays or changes to the way your matter is dealt with moving forward. We will continue to follow the court’s response to the pandemic and endeavour to update you should any changes impact upon your matter.

If you require further information or need advice on co-parenting, contact our office on 13 535 57 to have a confidential conversation with one of our experienced, friendly and caring family lawyers.

This article was co-authored by Law Cadet Taylah Jensen.

 

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