Co-parenting and children handovers: what is the best way to do this?
A very common and large part of Court Proceedings relating to children is typically down to parents being unable to, for a multitude of reasons, communicate/meet their children’s other parent for the purposes of having contact where the parents are no longer together. As the modern world has progressed, there are now several options available that may progress and relieve some of the pressures surrounding handovers, some of which have been noted below: –
There is now a wide range of available applications which you can simply download to your phone (this may incur a monthly fee depending on the application you download). The applications below that we have researched into are recommended if you experience difficulties communicating amicably with your children’s mother/father. Most applications have secure messaging, shared calendar functions, and a shared information portal, however, this will differ depending on which application you use. For example, the application Our Wizard Family, has a function where it “picks up on negative tones, and gives you alternative message recommendations”. Similarly, the application called 2 Houses allows a “custody schedule, manage kids’ expenses, upload photos and notes, and exchange all necessary information, such as medical notes and school details”.
- App Close – appclose.com – Free
- Our Family Wizard – ourfamilywizard.co.uk – £99 per year
- 2 Houses – https://www.2houses.com/en – £100 per year (free trial available for two weeks)
Although there are lot of ways to communicate amicably with your child’s parent, most of the time it is the case whereby they do not feel safe meeting up with the individual for the purposes of facilitating a handover. In this case, there are multiple Contact Centres which with a referral (subject to approval) can agree to facilitate contact. This usually incurs a fee which is either split between the parents and/or paid by the parent wishing for the contact. This is usually something that is decided between yourselves or in mediation –
- The Vine – thevineleeds.org – “The centre is part of the National Association of Child Contact Centres, and there is no charge for using the centre, though refreshments are charged at a minimal cost”.
- The Starting Point Centre – thestartingpoint.co.uk – Their prices start at £60 for 1 hour of supervised contact, or alternatively they are able to offer the venue simply as a handover-on-premises.
Sometimes, it is possible that you may want to have a family member who can act as a mediator as such, in a way that they can be in attendance at contact handovers to facilitate this, or rather they are there to assist or observe in the event that something happens. Moreover, it can help with any anxieties you might have about being alone/at risk whilst meeting.
At Ridley & Hall, we have many Family Solicitors who are amazing at their job and are of course willing to be with you every step of the way if you do indeed decide to commence Court proceedings in respect of your children. If you feel your child is at risk whilst having contact, this is absolutely something you need to discuss with a professional and it may be that there are steps beyond the above that need to be taken.