The school summer holidays are not far off, so if you haven’t done so already, now is the time to sort out your holiday parenting arrangements. If you don’t, you could be headed for a 6-week nightmare rather than the beach!
Planning is the best way to prevent your idyllic holiday being spoiled before you have even packed the buckets and spades.
For parents who are recently separated, that long summer school holiday brings new and often stressful new challenges.
If you are a veteran of summer parenting arrangements remember that plans that worked well previously may not work this year. Children grow up and their needs and interests change constantly and you as parent’s circumstances may have changed too, such as a new job, new partner etc.
Arguments and differences between separated parents regularly reach breaking point during holiday periods. So, when making summer holiday arrangements, it is important to put the best interest of your children first and work with the other parent to address any difficulties.
Lucy Hart?, Solicitor, shares her top tips to help separated parents spend a sunny summer with their children and create some happy memories.
What is the best way for separated parents to prepare for the 2021 summer holiday?
- If you do not have a court order in place, try to reach a fair split of the holiday time at home and take your children’s opinions and views into consideration when making summer holiday arrangements.
- Planning is always crucial but especially so this year due to changing travel restrictions. You may need to self-isolate beforehand and ensure Covid-19 tests are taken before travelling (if you are lucky enough to go abroad this year).
- When arranging holidays abroad, you can avoid a lot of stress and anxiety by handing over passports early. It is also advisable for one parent to take responsibility for making sure your children’s passports are up to date.
- Ensure that you maintain regular contact with the other parent to ensure they are up to date with all your travel plans. It is best to negate any worries or concerns before booking your holiday to avoid disappointment.
- It is a good idea to plan some time for a video call after you arrive so your children can talk to the other parent and reassure them know they have arrived safely. If you want the other parent to recognise and be respectful to your needs and feelings, then its important to recognise the other parents where possible. The parent without the children is likely to be really missing them and be anxious that the children are safe and well. If you address these concerns, it will help ensure you have a relaxing and happy holiday and promotes positive co-parenting.
Do I need consent from my child’s other parent, to take them on holiday?
You do not need consent from the other parent to take your child away for less than a month outside the UK if you are named on a Child Arrangements Order (CAO) as the parent they live with. However, it is recommended that you seek consent where possible to reassure the other parent, maintain a good parenting relationship and prevent any disruption to your travel plans.
You will need consent from the other parent to go on holiday if you are not named on the CAO as the parent with whom the child lives. Should the other parent withhold consent, you can apply to the court for a Specific Issues Order or Prohibited Steps Order (PSO), and they can decide if the holiday should go ahead.
At Sinclair Law we can advise you on the best course of action for your family and ensure the needs of your child are paramount.
What if you cannot agree on child contact arrangements?
Sinclair Law advises most separated parents who are unable to resolve contact difficulties themselves, to try mediation. An independent mediator can often help identify your concerns, co-parent effectively, and facilitate negotiations to achieve a fair outcome and arrangements for both parents. Mediation is a good way to avoid costly and lengthy court proceedings and prevent unnecessary stress to you or your children.
If mediation is unsuccessful or unsuitable, then you should seek help from a specialist family lawyer such as Sinclair Law. We can assist you in reaching an agreement outside of court, and if this is not possible, make an application under The Children Act for a Court Order.
Why should you seek professional legal advice from a specialist family solicitor?
Need additional support or advice? Our family solicitors are experienced and skilled at helping families navigate tricky holiday situations calmly and quickly.
We will always strive to find the best possible outcome for your children and manage difficult situations, so you and your family can have an enjoyable stress-free summer holiday.
Face the summer school holidays with confidence, get family law advice today and ensure the only stress you will have will be fitting the holiday luggage in the car!
Head off last-minute summer panic by planning ahead. Call our specialist family law team today for a FREE 30-minute appointment on 01625 526 222 to discover how Sinclair Law can help you.