Child care arrangements

It’s important to remember that most children benefit from having both parents involved in their lives following separation.

Parents manage child care arrangements for their children in all kinds of ways after separation. Some arrangements involve children spending time with both parents during the week, while in other cases there may be practical reasons why one parent sees a child less frequently than this. In very few cases do parents end up sharing the child care on an equal basis – this is just not a practical or appropriate solution for some families and it can be unsettling for children. Neither parent has a right to any particular amount of their child’s time.

So that your child has a settled routine, it is important to arrange how they will spend time with their other parent. It’s also best to plan what will happen over school holidays and special days as soon as possible.

  • Wherever possible, involve your children in decisions about child care arrangements because they will also have ideas about where they want to spend their time.
  • Work together to agree what’s best for the children.
  • Make sure you tell your children what you’ve decided in advance so that they know what to expect.
  • A Parenting Plan may be helpful in getting you focused on the children.

You will need to make arrangements to suit the age of your child, and be prepared to be flexible as circumstances change.

Whatever you agree with your ex-partner about child care arrangements, it’s a good idea to write it down. Create a parenting plan or agreement and review it regularly as your child’s needs change. If you can’t agree parenting time between you, ask someone you both trust and respect to help with your discussions.

It’s best if you can work things out together, but if you can’t there’s a lot of support around to help you make a child care arrangement. Professional advice can be expensive, but you might qualify for legal aid for mediation and possibly for family law cases.

So that your child has a settled routine, it is important to arrange how they will spend time with their other parent over school holidays and special days as soon as possible.

  • Don’t ask your child to decide which parent they’d like to be with on certain days, unless they are old enough to give their view.
  • Talk to all the adults involved.
  • Work together to agree what’s best for the children.
  • Tell your children what you’ve decided.

Parenting Plan may be helpful in getting you focused on your children.

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