Childcare arrangements after divorce & separation

Originally published on 8th May 2019 at 9:08 AM
Reading time: 4 mins

Organising childcare arrangements and adjusting to your new family set-up post-separation can be challenging. You may not get it right the first time, and things will change with time, so what worked in the beginning, may not be working for you now. All of this is normal. The key thing to remember when it comes to sorting out childcare arrangements after divorce is that your family is unique and nobody’s perfect. Don’t sweat the small stuff, focus on the bigger picture; what can you realistically control and how can you create an environment where your kids can thrive? Careful planning of childcare in divorce is of the utmost importance in terms of protecting your children during what can be a stressful time.

The grid below lists some suggestions on childcare arrangements or ‘care patterns’ and are just that, suggestions. We have also created a brand-new co-parenting app to help you organise and structure these arrangements. The key considerations to keep in mind are:

Five considerations for childcare arrangements:

1. Are you both in agreement?

Are you both in agreement about the childcare arrangements? If not, seek external support to help you to communicate. There’s so much support out there from experts and co-parents who have ‘been there and done that’. You can book a co-parenting session here.

2. Do you have a parenting plan?

A parenting plan is an essential document to sort out, that will think through how things will work with your childcare arrangements. It’s not a legal document, but it is helpful to have written arrangements recorded somewhere for peace of mind on both sides. Download amicable’s Parenting Plan here, or you can sign up for a free 30-day trial of the brand-new amicable co-parenting app.

3. Are the childcare arrangements realistic?

To reduce stress, you need to make sure that the childcare arrangements make logistical and financial sense. For example; do you live close enough apart to make the arrangements work? Creating realistic childcare arrangements after divorce is crucial in terms of navigating co-parenting once legally separated from your ex.

4. Have you got a way of managing the day to day?

Once you’re agreed on how things will work, how will you manage diaries and ad-hoc arrangements? You may find downloading and trialling amicable’s co-parenting app will really help with this, and one of the primary reasons we created the app in the first place. To help parents co-parent during and after separating so that they can focus on what really matters, their kids.

5. Have you let key people know what’s going on?

I.e. the school for pickups, close family/friends who are helping you both to bring up the children.

The ‘suitable for’ column is just a guide based on the cognitive and emotional development of the average child. The suitability of a care pattern will depend a great deal on what your child has been used to, whether there has been a primary carer or care has been shared between parents or other caregivers and of course your child or children’s personality. You may also need to consider the impact of siblings.

child arrangement chart             

Should you need more help with childcare arrangements after divorce separation, and with formulating a parenting plan, amicable offer a parenting planning service.

Additional resources:

Co-parenting app:

Try amicable's brand new co-parenting app. You can try all features of the app for free via the 30-day trial.

The app exists to help separated and separating parents manage all aspects of co-parenting including childcare arrangements, making parenting after divorce and separation simpler. This first version of the app is just the start, and we'll be adding new features based on feedback.


How much is a child arrangement order?

A child arrangement order, which requires you to complete and submit the C100 costs £215 in court fees, however requires you to attend MIAM, the cost of which can vary in price. Visit the government website for more information here.

What custody arrangement is best for a child UK?

This should be decided between you and your co-parent, depending on your individual circumstances, and what’s best for your kids.

How do you make a child arrangement?

You will have to decide between you and your ex where and with who your children live.

Want to speak to one of our specialists?

Related content:


Co-parenting advice

Speak to an amicable Coach for help transitioning from parents to co-parents.

Book a free 15-minute call

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