Separated Parents Urged to Put Children’s Interests First as Schools Shut Down

Kate Banerjee Jones Myers

Kate Banerjee
Partner and Head of the Children Department
Jones Myers Family Law Solicitors

With schools now closed across the whole of the UK, Jones Myers niche family law firm is calling on divorced and separated parents to work together for the best interests of their children in these extraordinary times.

We understand and empathise with the practical and emotional challenges facing everyone as the coronavirus crisis continues and advice about social isolation measures is stepped up.

It is especially important for divorced and separated parents to collaborate for the best interests of their children who will also understandably feel nervous and apprehensive.

The severe situation may present particular challenges with children’s routines due to school closures, the nature of their parents’ work – or if a parent or child have been diagnosed with the virus and need to self-isolate.

Parents are also aware that grandparents, who have historically played a major role in childcare, are in the virus’s highest risk category.

We’ re receiving calls from concerned parents about their children’s welfare and advising they keep updated with the developments from official authorities such as schools and health care professionals.

We also offer the following practical advice to estranged parents:

 

    • Stay calm and collected, put aside your differences and agree a plan of action which ensures your children’s health, wellbeing and interests come first

 

    • Be flexible and open minded about changes in parenting time and work together to find a workable solution

 

    • In particular, agree a plan of action if one of you or the children are required to self-isolate. This includes keeping in touch by FaceTime, texts or post cards

 

    • In the above cases, agree on what you will tell your children and explain and keep them up to date on how the other parent is affected.

 

    • Continue to tell your children that you both love them very much and keep explaining why their routine may have to change

 

    • Listen to them and try to avoid passing your anxieties onto them – children are highly sensitive and will become more unsettled if they pick up their parents’ concerns.

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Working together in a mutual spirit of cooperation and collaboration is crucial to ensure the needs and sensitivities of children remain a priority throughout – and beyond – these extraordinary circumstances.

About Kate Banerjee

Kate is highly experienced in cases relating to children including contact and residence disputes. She specialises in child protection law and is a Member of the Child Care Panel representing parents, guardians, Local Authorities and children.

Kate has extensive expertise in international child abduction cases and is a Member of the International Child Abduction and Custody Unit. She also has “Higher Court Rights”. www.jonesmyers.co.uk

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