Advice On How To Handle Potential Conflict From Partners If Self-Isolating
The outbreak of COVID-19 has caused a huge amount of worry around the world, with those who have demonstrated mild symptoms or who have been exposed to someone with the virus being asked to self-isolate for two weeks.
Expert family lawyers at leading national law firm Irwin Mitchell have pointed out how with the unprecedented situation, as well as uncertainty over whether businesses and schools will stay open, means usual arrangements between parents and seeing children could be up in the air for months to come.
Some families may have either a formal or informal agreement in place when it comes to the children, but if the child or parent is unwell and is required to self-isolate, this can present big problems for parental contact.
Expert Opinion“Life is hard enough when your relationship has broken down and you are trying to work your way through a tough family situation – and then with COVID-19, things could get worse.
“Our advice is to be sensible. If you’re the parent caring for a sick child, or are showing symptoms yourself, ensure you’ve taken proper medical advice and then immediately let your co-parent know the situation.
“In our digital age it’s easier than ever to be connected – and flexible - during these tough times. Scheduling times for FaceTime and Skype is a great way to keep in touch. Perhaps you and your co-parent can change the arrangements to give the other parent more contact time once you or your child is better.
“If you’re the parent wanting to collect your child, you will no doubt be upset and worried if you can’t because of self-isolation precautions. If that’s the case, it’s always best to stay calm, be sensible and make a plan, because the welfare of the children should always be at the heart of every decision.” Zahra Pabani - Partner
There will undoubtedly be issues where co-parents can’t agree on the best course of action to take – and if this is the case, family experts advise speaking to a professional in order to avoid putting strain on an otherwise overloaded court system.
Zahra continued: “If communication between you and your co-parent isn’t the best, and you can’t reach a temporary agreement, it’s best to seek early guidance and speak to your solicitor. If you are in the middle of any form of mediation – this can potentially continue by phone or Skype and you can use that as a forum to communicate.
“Some parents might think that court proceedings are the only way forward, but it’s often not the answer. Getting caught up in the worry and bloated news cycle isn’t good for anyone – take a breath and ask for help if you need it. There’s always a way forward, you might just need to get creative to find one.”