National awareness raising week – Improving handover communication
We mentioned previously about the desire to avoid using handover to communicate about any issues.
We mentioned previously about the desire to avoid using handover to communicate about any issues in dispute, however, it is likely you will need to pass on practical and relevant messages to your ex partner about the children generally. You may like to consider using a handover book, either purchased online or you can create a book yourselves.
Relevant information would include things such as whether the children have been poorly and if they have had medicine given to them, if they have eaten well, what their sleep has been like, their general wellbeing and mood etc.
The Handover Book written by Ashley Palmer and Leigh Moriarty, is a continuously updated co-parenting plan, designed to encourage communication based on information about the child’s needs, routines and welfare. Ashley Palmer is an Accredited Child Inclusive Family Mediator, Family Law Consultant and Psychotherapist and Leigh Moriarty has completed the Resolution child and family consultant training and is a qualified Systemic Family therapist. The authors also provide a session if requested to explain the book and how it can be used effectively to establish strong child-focused communication moving forwards.
“We designed The Handover Book to help parents share all types of information regarding their child’s day-to-day welfare. As well as parents sharing information in the book, children have an chapter in there too. In this section, it has really simple and effective tools that are designed to help children talk to their parents about what they enjoy doing and how they feel when they move from one house to the other: this helps them see that their feelings are incredibly important. We have found that clients are incredibly relieved to have a book that takes the pressure out of communicating with the other parent.” – Ashley Palmer
Aside from handover generally, it would be useful to establish what method of communication may work for you, whether that is by telephone, email, text, meetings in person or requiring the assistance of a third party. Ideally, children should not be present during any of these discussions or able to overhear the discussions, so that they are not exposed to adult communication. If you are meeting in person, you may like to consider meeting in a public place to help keep things amicable. Be aware that anything communicated in writing makes it difficult to convey tone, so it is worth re-reading your communication before it is sent so that the recipient does not read unintended emotion into the text.
Our final piece tomorrow will focus on longer term arrangements for the children. What you and your former partner agree on separation is going to need to adjust and adapt as time passes.
Our Family Law solicitors are among the best in the South. If you have a legal matter that requires the expertise of one of our family lawyers, contact us today on 0800 2800 421. We have law offices in Salisbury, Southampton, Bournemouth, Poole and Winchester to meet your requirements.