Shared Care or Not?
There has been fierce controversy and political debate about the idea of whether fathers should have the right to equal time with their children following separation.
The Family Justice Review published in November 2011 rejected the idea of the right to equal time. However in February 2012 children's Minister Tim Loughton has stated that it is important that decent and loving fathers are not pushed out of their children's lives.
If you can answer Yes to most of the following questions, then shared care might work for you and your children:
- Can you communicate and negotiate fairly well about the children?
- Do you basically respect your ex as a parent despite your relationship disappointments and personal differences?
- Can you put your personal disagreements and conflicts to one side and focus on what the children need in a given situation?
- Is there a compromise and give-and-take when there are disagreements?
- Can you share control and respect the autonomy of the other parents household?
- Are your fundamental child-rearing values and practicalities similar?
- Can you tolerate your differences without seeing them as detrimental to the children, and can you distinguish between the important and unimportant differences?
- Do you value what the other parent has to offer your child?
- Are you willing to tolerate the personal inconvenience and extra work in coordinating schedules?
- Is your child able to handle transitions?
- Whilst you were together were the child-rearing tasks shared (not necessarily equally). If not, is there a commitment to increase sharing now?
You can see from the above the importance of cooperation. If you're prepared to begin negotiating with your ex partner regarding the care of your children, consider making an appointment for mediation.
Read how Shared Care affects Child Support payments in our informative article Shared Care all CMS Schemes.
Information provided by Progressive Mediation, a low cost Bristol mediation service.