The coronavirus pandemic is having a profound effect on society. Our ability to go about our lives is changing daily, and now with the enforced closure of schools millions of parents and carers must try to juggle child care, their work and keeping their family healthy.
One of the side-effects of school closures is what happens to children of divorced or separated couples if both parents would normally be working during school hours. Relying on grandparents for help will not always be an option, especially if grandparents are aged over 70 and are now advised to stay at home, avoiding contact with other people.
Many couples will have undertaken difficult negotiations or gone through lengthy and expensive court battles to finalise arrangements for the care and contact to their children. It is ironic that parents with whom the child is now living, may now need to ask their former partner to take on a greater role in looking after the children following the closure of their school.
While it may be possible for many office workers or administrative staff to work from home, thousands of others are not able to simply by nature of their job – medical staff, workers in other emergency services, carers, engineers and technicians, and supermarket workers are just some of the many employees whose job takes them away from their home.
Single parents are now faced with many competing pressures. They must make sure their children keep up with school work using their laptop or home computer, and ensure they get the exercise and fresh air they need on a daily basis. After-school clubs and play groups are shut, children’s parties have been cancelled, and weekend sports clubs and other activities have all been closed down. Interaction and play with their friends is essential for their mental well-being, yet how can this be achieved if we are also to keep them safe from infection?
So it is no wonder that parents with day to day care of their children are looking for help from their former partner in order to share the load. A tug-of-love can quickly become a plea for help in these strange times we’re living through. Let’s hope everyone can pull together – the last thing the children – and parents – need is additional stress at this time.
At Bretherton Law we know that it can be stressful and complicated when relationships break down, so turning to an experienced Family Law Solicitor is the sensible choice. We have been helping families with changes in their circumstances for over 50 years, and have built an enviable reputation for our professional service and honest advice. We are members of Resolution and Accredited in Family Law by the Law Society.