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AIBU to think there’s been no info on Coronavirus and blended families

38 replies

Apuddimgisneverenough · 19/03/2020 00:50

Hi all, has there actually been guidelines announced for blended families in relation to the recent Coronavirus outbreak ?
I have just been taking to my brother who has 50/50 care of his 3 children along with his ex wife.
His “new” wife (no disrespect to her but ‘new’ for the purpose of this thread) has 2 children whom she has 50/50 residency with her ex partner. So at times there can be 5 children and 2 adults in the home. No one in the 3 homes is high risk or vulnerable

We have just been discussing what would happen if one or more of the children became ill. Obviously all 3 households (brothers home , brothers ex home and his new wife’s ex husbands home ) should all self isolate , but what about the movement of children? Should the children stay where they are? Or is is safe for the children , assuming they are fit enough, to be ferried from one home to another?
Is it fair to except the household where symptoms manifested themselves be the people responsible for the well being of the children for 14 days?

OP posts:
bemoreeverything · 19/03/2020 01:00

I don't think the government needs to spoon feed personal family arrangements to people. They have enough to be getting in with without that. People will just have to work it out for themselves.

PawPawNoodle · 19/03/2020 01:07

Agree with @bemoreeverything, the guidelines are clear and you apply it as relevant to the situation as it manifests. The parent not with the children at time of quarantine should support with money and/or bringing supplies round to the isolated house (leaving them outside obviously). Contact can be maintained with videocalls.

If anyone gets the arsehole with it, it's tough tits really.

Llareggub · 19/03/2020 01:21

Honestly, it’s one of those occasions where you just work it out. My children won’t see their father for a while as he is in a vulnerable group. It’s not good for him or them in the short term but obviously we can’t put his life at risk.

notangelinajolie · 19/03/2020 01:38

Blended families are a bit of a mumsnetty kind of thing and not something Boris needs to be concentrating on right now. Perhaps the grown ups should be working this out for themselves Hmm

Antipodeancousin · 19/03/2020 03:45

I don’t agree that this is just ‘something adults should sort out’. There have been numerous threads on here about stroppy fathers demanding ‘their rights’ when it is clear the child should be isolating at home with mum.
If the government spelled it out the resident parent would be more confident in saying no and therefore the public would be better protected.

ArriettyJones · 19/03/2020 03:55

Blended families are a bit of a mumsnetty kind of thing and not something Boris needs to be concentrating on right now. Perhaps the grown ups should be working this out for themselves

I would imagine that he and Carrie are thinking about blended families quite a lot. What with their baby due fairly soon and all.

As for being a “Mumsnetty thing” (?!), where do you live that no stepfamilies exist?

I think OP raises a good point.

Sobeyondthehills · 19/03/2020 03:59

I think its a complicated thing, that at the moment the government should not have to deal withe because we are all sensible adults and should do what is best for our children and the general well being of the population.

In reality I don't think that is going to be the case and certain parents are going to get the arse.

In your case, I would say the children stay with whoever they are with when the virus is notice and all 3 households then isolate.

My case is a lot easier as DSS doesn't sleep here, however this is going to get more complicated with the schools closing, as I can have him, as his mum and stepdad are both still working and untill we get clarification we are not sure whether one of them is a keyworker, we also have to factor in the fact whether they want to send them to school.

PawPawNoodle · 19/03/2020 04:03

@Antipodeancousin but surely it's not the government's job to intervene in people's domestic and familial disputes? Those are dealt with by the court, not the government. They have set out clear and reasonable guidance that is (at the moment) quite flexible to give citizens the ability to make choices as to what is best right now.

Each family's position is so different, the government couldn't possibly account for every possible arrangement made. It has given advice clearly to all citizens - if someone in the household shows symptoms or there is a risk of exposure then everyone must isolate, in this case it would include the child in the household that they are physically in. The government doesn't know nor are they able to make an informed judgement on who the "resident parent" is. Both parents (in the majority of cases) are suited to care for the child and the dispute shouldn't be the government's responsibility to solve.

1forAll74 · 19/03/2020 04:14

i think that blended families should be able to work things out for themselves regarding all the upsets because of this horrible virus.. let common sense prevail all round..

Mlou32 · 19/03/2020 05:19

I think the government probably has more important things to deal with at the moment than spoonfeeding information to "blended families" on what they should do. I assume both you and your partner and exes are adults, this is something that you need to work out between yourselves. If it means being genuinely unable to adhere to contact agreements for a short period of time, then so be it.

Lizadork · 19/03/2020 05:29

Child contact orders and corona virus

If you have a contact order for your former partner to spend time with your child and if you are the following categories, this advice is for you.

  1. Your child is vulnerable

2. You are pregnant
3. You are vulnerable due to disability.
4. Your child has a cough or a fever
5. You have a cough or a fever
6. You are in another group which has been advised to isolate by the Government or the NHS.

Government, or medical advice overrides a Court contact order and you must follow that advice. That means that a child should not be sent on contact visits in the above situations, for the advised period.

You must advise the other parent in writing of the reason why contact cannot go ahead. It would be wise to put other contact in place and to make clear that you are doing so, such as facetime, Skype, or telephone calls.

Please remember that your child's other parent may be worried and keep them updated.

The Court will not punish you for taking these steps to protect the child, or other family members, provided that you behave reasonably.

If your child does not live with you and you have a contact order please prioritise the child's well being and remember that the other parent is doing their best in a worrying situation.

Contact can be resumed once this settles down.


Stolen from facebook but sounds like class advice
In terms of blended families, just adjust to fit but I would say children stay where they get ill until isolation over with. Obviously families will want to reduce their risk factors so it could be a case of previous 50/50 arrangements need to be adjusted for the short term.
NotEverythingIsBlackandwhite · 19/03/2020 05:36

I think the advice is clear. The Govt have better things to do with their time than spoon-feed everyone over every possible scenario.

Lynda07 · 19/03/2020 05:59

The children should each stay in one place for the duration of the pandemic. It won't last forever. We have to accept that what is normally done is sometimes not done in the present circumstances. It will be hard for parents not to see their kids and visa versa but wonderful when they eventually reunite. There's skype, facetime and the telephone.

OhTheRoses · 19/03/2020 06:01

The adults respect the wishes of the child who goes where they feel happiest and most comfortable having taken Lizadork's advice on board

thewinkingprawn · 19/03/2020 06:08

Crikey - if blended families can’t work it out 🙄 frankly this is a part of the reason we will have to go into lockdown - we cannot take the very clear advice and follow it unless we have had it personally tailored to us - Mrs winkingprawn I expect you personally to stay in and socially distance from now on. Unless I say your actual name or your very specific circumstance then you can carry as usual. I’d say blended families are pretty thick if they cannot work it out.

TW2013 · 19/03/2020 06:09

There have been numerous threads on here about stroppy fathers demanding ‘their rights’ when it is clear the child should be isolating at home with mum.

But in the scenario above when one of them is actually ill my guess would be that they are magically less concerned about their rights than catching the virus.

EnthusiasmIsDisturbed · 19/03/2020 06:17

Agree it something for the parents to sort out between themselves

Government advice how ever strongly worded isn’t going to stop an ex from being difficult is that is how they are

user1480880826 · 19/03/2020 06:25

Self isolation means the same thing regardless of whether or not a family is blended. The parent needs to decide where the kids are going to remain during lockdown. Kids can’t continue to alternate between parents. That would totally defeat the object of isolating and social distancing.

Surely the government doesn’t need to spell this out?

Midnightstar11 · 19/03/2020 06:29

Ds1 was at his fathers at the weekend when DS2 became poorly so we agreed for his dad to keep him for the 2 weeks and he could go to school, his df is now working from home as hes high risk so will be caring for DS. You just got work it out.

coconuttelegraph · 19/03/2020 06:32

The government must be stretched to breaking point atm you can't possibly expect them to have an answer to every permutation of family circumstances, no one has the answers to everything. All we can do is follow the advice and get on with it.

SarahInAccounts · 19/03/2020 06:35

The government expect parents to be sensible. Far more important things on their mind.

Jespers · 19/03/2020 06:40

Hopefully they would read the advice and apply it sensibly to their family as appropriate. The government aren't going to hand hold 'blended' families.

Potentialmadcatlady · 19/03/2020 06:40

One of my lot is on the high risk group and one isn’t. We have discussed it. We will be isolating for at least 12 and in our case that currently means no visitors and us only going out to walk the dog. The non risk child is being treated as high risk to protect the other. My two will not be seeing their father for the duration but we have decided that once things are a little more settled and if the kids need to see their Dad then we will go for a walk and meet him Staying 3 metres away but so he can ‘see them in the flesh’ for a short while anyway. In the meantime they are using FaceTime in their bedrooms (so away from me out of respect as the divorce was not an easy one and he isn’t actually allowed near me in real life) so they can stay in touch.
I’m actually really surprised how well their Dad is accepting it- he finally appears to have grown up and is putting their needs over his.

AccidentallyRunToWindsor · 19/03/2020 06:41

Or you could have the mother who is insisting the children should still come over every weekend despite the children being anxious about coming over and me being in the vulnerable group.

NatashaAlianovaRomanova · 19/03/2020 06:47

DS is at his dads & for various reasons has been for the past fortnight & was due to come to mine on Friday he has now developed a cough. The call went along these lines:

EX- D has a cough he seems fine in himself though

Me- so you'll be keeping him for another fortnight then?

Ex- yeah we're self-isolating

Me- I'll FaceTime him in a bit, how's the wee one (their 1yo)?

Ex- he's fine no symptoms at the minute but we're struggling to get his food (he's on a restricted diet due to allergies)

Me- send me a list of what he can have & if they have any in my local shops I'll pick it up

Ex- that'd be great thanks I'll email it over

Me- right I better go FT D, keep safe & let me know if you need anything. Tell stepmum to enjoy her Mother's Day breakfast in bed this year which will be rank as mine usually is Grin

Ex- oh god aye, I better warn her 😂

Not exactly difficult or complicated. Common sense should be applied in these cases.

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