Contracts and separated parents
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    Default Contracts and separated parents

    I'm just updating my contracts and have a couple of questions.

    I have a child whose parents have recently separated. The original contract was in joint names, but mum wants the new contract solely in her name. This makes sense. She's claiming benefits as a single parent so doesn't want dad named on any contract, invoices etc in case it confuses things. She'll also be solely responsible for payments. I've got no problem with doing a contract in her name, but what about parental responsibility? That's currently a question on my contracts. I know dad's name and mobile number, and that he has PR. Could I just do a separate form with PR details on it and leave it off the contract completely?

    Another family have no one to name as an additional/emergency contact. I have got their mobile numbers, email addresses, work phone numbers and email addresses. The chance of me being unable to contact them for any length of time is very slim. Is there an actual requirement to have emergency contacts? We've talked about what would happen if I did need to contact them and couldn't, including having to contact SS if necessary.

    In both cases I just need to know what any lawful requirements are.

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    I had a contract with a single mum, but dad was listed under parental responsibilities bit, along with contact details and info about residence arrangements etc.
    Dad had nothing to do with my arrangement/contract with mum.

    I have also had parents who have had no emergency contacts and agreed that if it came to it, I would contact social services. Although, I had one mum who was talking about not having anyone, and a mum from school offered to be an emergency contact. I also have that in an emergency I can leave child/ren with a responsible adult of my choosing. And depending on the type of emergency, any of my current parents would help with another minded child. Tricky one though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mouse View Post
    I'm just updating my contracts and have a couple of questions.

    I have a child whose parents have recently separated. The original contract was in joint names, but mum wants the new contract solely in her name. This makes sense. She's claiming benefits as a single parent so doesn't want dad named on any contract, invoices etc in case it confuses things. She'll also be solely responsible for payments. I've got no problem with doing a contract in her name, but what about parental responsibility? That's currently a question on my contracts. I know dad's name and mobile number, and that he has PR. Could I just do a separate form with PR details on it and leave it off the contract completely?

    Another family have no one to name as an additional/emergency contact. I have got their mobile numbers, email addresses, work phone numbers and email addresses. The chance of me being unable to contact them for any length of time is very slim. Is there an actual requirement to have emergency contacts? We've talked about what would happen if I did need to contact them and couldn't, including having to contact SS if necessary.

    In both cases I just need to know what any lawful requirements are.
    The statutory requirement (EYFS 3.72) is to have details on record of who has parental responsibility, together with their names and addresses. EYFS doesn’t say it has to be on the contract, but......

    You may have issues with your insurer/Pacey if you don’t fill in the contract as fully as possible. I would therefore refer to them for advice.

    Furthermore, I’m getting distant alarm bells. Is there a really good reason not to put it on the contract? I’d put that question to mum. She also needs to understand that her paying the bills makes absolutely no difference to the fact that dad retains full and equal PR rights. He should get exactly the same information about lo's progress, activities, etc. and an equal say in how things are done.

    Take care, because separated parents can get very manipulative, probably more so if one feels entitled to announce "but I’m paying your wages." Take advice from your legal team just in case. What happens if they disagree over consent for something? What if mum is happy with you taking them somewhere but dad isn’t? What if he changes his mind and doesn’t even want you looking after lo? I'm thinking 'worst case' but it is better to be forearmed. You might have to add a clause allowing you to give immediate notice if they disagree to a point where it becomes intolerable or impossible for you to provide care.

    Emergency contact. First, dad should be a contact anyway, unless he's too far away. Again, I’d check with your insurer, especially if you use contracts (such as pacey's) which seem to require a minimum of two contacts. If you end up with no emergency contacts, I’d get mum to sign a written statement that she is aware you may have to call police/social services, and retain a copy. She may say she’s happy with it now, thinking it will never happen; but she might take an entirely different view if it ever did.
    Last edited by bunyip; 04-09-2018 at 04:40 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bunyip View Post
    The statutory requirement (EYFS 3.72) is to have details on record of who has parental responsibility, together with their names and addresses. EYFS doesn’t say it has to be on the contract, but......

    You may have issues with your insurer/Pacey if you don’t fill in the contract as fully as possible. I would therefore refer to them for advice.

    Furthermore, I’m getting distant alarm bells. Is there a really good reason not to put it on the contract? I’d put that question to mum. She also needs to understand that her paying the bills makes absolutely no difference to the fact that dad retains full and equal PR rights. He should get exactly the same information about lo's progress, activities, etc. and an equal say in how things are done.

    Take care, because separated parents can get very manipulative, probably more so if one feels entitled to announce "but I’m paying your wages." Take advice from your legal team just in case. What happens if they disagree over consent for something? What if mum is happy with you taking them somewhere but dad isn’t? What if he changes his mind and doesn’t even want you looking after lo? I'm thinking 'worst case' but it is better to be forearmed. You might have to add a clause allowing you to give immediate notice if they disagree to a point where it becomes intolerable or impossible for you to provide care.

    Emergency contact. First, dad should be a contact anyway, unless he's too far away. Again, I’d check with your insurer, especially if you use contracts (such as pacey's) which seem to require a minimum of two contacts. If you end up with no emergency contacts, I’d get mum to sign a written statement that she is aware you may have to call police/social services, and retain a copy. She may say she’s happy with it now, thinking it will never happen; but she might take an entirely different view if it ever did.


    The main reason for him not being on the contract is because of universal credits. There was so much hassle sorting it out and mum had to provide all sorts of proof that her ex had moved out. She doesn't want to complicate things now by putting him on a contract which she needs to send to them. I can understand that.

    I still have contact with dad. I send him photos and progress updates etc. I don't have an address for him, so I will get that from mum and make up a separate PR form, I think. I'm also going to email my insurance company to see what they say. I don't really now why I never think of contacting them!

    The emergency contact query is a different family. Both parents are named on the contract/child record form and I have various contact details for them, just no additional contact. I doubt one will ever be needed as both parents are usually easy to contact. I have written up a form this afternoon though detailing what would happen if I needed to contact them, but can't. I've given various scenarios as examples (eg. me being taken ill and the child needing to be collected, in which case I would leave the child with another adult etc) and made it clear that I may have to contact Social Services or the police in an extreme situation.

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    Now looking back on one of my families in the past, each parent were name on the record form but contract was only with the mother. Father wasn’t named on it.i never had any problems over 14 years the child was with me.oh and different emergency contact as well as parents contact numbers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonfly View Post
    Now looking back on one of my families in the past, each parent were name on the record form but contract was only with the mother. Father wasn’t named on it.i never had any problems over 14 years the child was with me.oh and different emergency contact as well as parents contact numbers.
    I also had the above for a previous family. Plus one line asking who was responsible for payments and only the mother signed that bit. Both parents signed the Parental Responsibility paperwork.

 

 

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