Managing Summer Holidays

As A Separated Parent

The summer holidays are almost upon us and while some separated parents may already have plans in place, others will be finding it difficult to agree on a fair and suitable plan for child arrangements explains Angharad Bentley, family solicitor at Farleys

It is important to remember that there is no law that details how much time a child should spend with either parent. The law expects both parents to make these arrangements jointly with the best interests of the children in mind. A child should have the opportunity to enjoy a relationship with both parents as long as it is safe to do so.

If you are looking to arrange summer holiday plans with your former partner, here are a few tips to remember.

Positive communication
While you may not be on the best of terms with your former partner, it is vital you put aside your differences and try to communicate positively, staying calm and rational in your discussions.

If your children are at an age where they can understand, you could explore their wishes and feelings as to how they would like to spend their break. Your children are the most important people in this situation and if they see you are both taking their wishes into consideration, there will be a much happier atmosphere all round. Their interests should be your focus.

After all they will likely be very excited to enjoy a holiday abroad or within the UK with either parent.

Give notice and provide information
If you are planning on taking a holiday with your children, in the UK or abroad, be sure to give your ex-partner plenty of notice as to your plans.

Provide information on when you are going, how long for, and where you will be staying. You should also provide a way for the children to contact the other parent while you are away, whether that is by phone, skype or social media.

Be prepared to negotiate
During the summer, children have six weeks off school. For most working parents, it is not feasible to book the entire summer as annual leave so you will need to negotiate times that work for both of you. As long as you create a plan in advance and agree on how long the new arrangements will be in effect for, you should not run into issues at the end of the summer.

Mediation as an alternative
If you still cannot reach an agreement between you, you must exhaust mediation before resorting to the court process for a decision to be made. A mediator is independent and impartial and will guide you both in reaching a reasonable agreement.

For advice regarding child arrangements, please contact Farleys’ experienced family law team on 01254 368040 or email:

Farleys has offices in Preston, Blackburn, Accrington, Burnley and Manchester



Tedd Walmsley

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