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Contact & Parenting Agreements

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Contact & Parenting Agreements

"Contact & Parenting Agreements”

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Contact & Parenting Agreements

Often one of the main issues arising when a couple separate is the on-going care of the children. Children can never be totally protected in these situations but one of the primary aims should be to minimise the effect of the breakdown of the relationship or marriage on them. Entering into an agreement which deals solely with the care arrangements for the child/ren can help to calm the waters.

These Agreements can deal with some or all of the following issues and many more:

Workplace injuries can be especially difficult for someone to deal with. You may have worked with the same employer for a long time. Your employer may be a good employer and you do not want to lose or damage your relationship with them. This can be a very stressful situation for everyone at work. Potential claimants worry that if they make a claim against their employer they might lose their job. Claimants often worry that the employer cannot afford to pay an injury claim, especially if they work in a small business with small profit margins.

1. Where will the children live? If the parents are going to try for full shared care, what school will the children attend? What are the arrangements for the collection and return of the children?

2. If the children are to live mainly with one parent, what contact will the other parent have? Is this to be every week or every second week, should it be midweek, at the weekend or both, should it be residential or non-residential.

3. Holiday contact - is this half in half during the school holidays, if not, what holiday contact should each parent have with the child/ren.

4. Should both parents be allowed to take the children away for a holiday either in the UK or abroad. If so , how much notice do they have to give the other parent.

5. Through a parenting agreement, each parent can confirm that they will grant written consent to the other parent taking the child on a holiday provided that they are informed of this well in advance and the holiday destination is an appropriate place to take a child.

6. What contact will each parent have with the children at Christmas, New Year, on the child’s birthday, on the parent’s birthday, on Mother’s Day, on Father’s Day and on other special days.

7. What arrangements should be put in place if the child is sick and off school.

8. The child or children’s after school clubs - how will these tie in with the contact arrangements? What about uniforms and equipment for school and for the child’s clubs, how are these to be arranged and organised?

9. Who is allowed to pick the child up from school?

10. How are important decisions to be made - such as school trips and discipline for the children? What about mobile phones and electronic devices?

Shared care arrangements can work very well for children, who benefit from knowing that both parents love them and can cooperate in caring for them. They do, however, need a fairly high level of cooperation and communication between the parents. Fluidity and change has to be built into these Agreements because children’s and parents’ circumstances change over time but as long as the important factors have been agreed then a change of circumstances should not present as a major obstacle in the on-going care. Often the uncertainty of where they will be each day, who will be picking them up from school and when they will see the other parent can cause stress and anxiety for children who feel ‘caught in the middle’. A Parenting and Contact Agreement can go a long way towards mitigating these stresses for children.


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