Making Holiday Arrangements for Children as Separated Parents
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 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 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 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.
Planning a Trip
If your child is old enough to contribute to the planning of their own summer holiday with each parent, they should be involved. Knowing where they'll be and who it's with will help alleviate some of the stress from the separation and still make them feel involved in the family.
But don’t be hasty if you’re thinking of taking your child on holiday abroad this summer. If you are named on your child's birth certificate, you will have Parental Responsibility, but this doesn’t mean you can take your child out of the UK without the other parents’ permission.
If you do travel without the permission of the other parent with Parental Responsibility, you may be accused of child abduction. Give the other parent a good amount of time to think about and agree to allowing you to take your children abroad. And don’t book anything without their permission, just in case they don’t agree.
There is no law in England or Wales that dictates which parent should keep hold of their child's passport, but if you’re prevented from receiving the passport, you can apply for a Court Order to have it provided to you in good time.
Itineraries, flight plans and arrival times and departure times are also pieces of information that you should provide to the other parent, especially if they agree to you taking your child on holiday.
Holidays in the UK
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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