What is parental responsibility?
Parental responsibility is the “rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which by law a parent of a child has in relation to the child and his property” according to the Children Act 1989.
While separated parents who have children may have the same end goal of wanting to spend quality time with their children, many may clash over what specific arrangements should be put in place. That’s particularly true during the summer holidays, when children are off school for 6 weeks and both parents want to make the most of this opportunity.
If you’re struggling to reach an amicable solution, our Family and Child Law Solicitors can help you negotiate child living and contact arrangements. We can also suggest other suitable ways of resolving disputes, such as mediation and arbitration, and provide independent legal advice throughout the process.
For initial advice get in touch with our Family and Child Law Solicitors.
Simply wanting to spend more time with your child than your ex is comfortable with is just one potential source of conflict. For instance, it may be the case that due to work commitments, you can’t have your child or children with you as often as the other parent demands.
If possible, try to come to a mutual understanding with your ex-partner to work with them over the summer holidays to split the childcare and spend quality time with them this summer.
Planning ahead can also help to alleviate some of the stress that may come with parenting over the summer holidays. Phoning up your ex-partner and asking to see your children ad-hoc may work for you, but it could be highly inconvenient for them. Likewise, having the kids dropped off on your doorstep at 8am on a Monday morning may be highly inconvenient for you, especially if you start work at 9.
Whether you plan 4 weeks ahead, or at the end of each week you have a chat with the other parent, preparing a timetable that is convenient for both of you is vital to avoid mishaps. Even more importantly, it provides the child with a structure to operate within day to day.
Working within the best interests of your child may also help to improve the working relationship between you and the other parent long term. Our Family and Child Law Solicitors can help you balance any conflicting interests and points of view, to enable you to put together a timetable that works for everyone.
If you are holidaying within the UK, you don't usually need the other parent's permission. However, it’s worth obtaining it anyway, if only to build a strong co-parent relationship of trust between the two of you and make it easier in the future if you plan on another trip.
Co-parenting doesn't have to be complicated, especially when you can work together for the best interests of the children. But if one parent is being unreasonable, you can apply to the Court to have special orders made in your favour to allow a family holiday to go ahead. If this is the case, make sure that this is done well in advance of the holiday to avoid disappointment and delays.
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