Arrangements for the care of children over the school holidays can be complicated where parents are separated. With the summer holidays now upon us, we consider some practical steps to follow when separated parents are trying to agree holiday arrangements in relation to the ongoing care of their children, particularly over the holiday periods.
Care for Children: Holiday Arrangements for Separated Parents
- Try to agree well in advance
It is important for arrangements to be agreed wherever possible in good time ahead of school holidays so that both parents and the children can plan activities, days out and holidays and annual leave can be arranged.
Consideration will need to be given to any holidays abroad and, in particular, each parent will need the consent of the other parent for holidays outside of England and Wales.
- Always consider the children
Parents should work together as far as possible and consider the needs and best interests of the children. In particular, consider how long the children should spend with each parent at a time and the associated practicalities given the ages of the children.
Ongoing arrangements in relation to the care of the children, including during holiday periods, will need to incorporate an element of flexibility. There will inevitably be occasions where changes are required to the arrangements and parents will need to work together to change the arrangements where necessary by agreement.
It is important for parents to seek legal advice so that they are aware of their rights and responsibilities before reaching any agreement.
- Record any agreement in writing
If an agreement is reached, record the terms in writing so that both parents, and the children, are clear about the arrangements.
Ultimately, if an agreement is not reached, the parents will need to consider the next steps. Before making an application to the Court for the Court to determine the arrangements, the parents should attempt mediation. Mediation can assist in resolving disputes as to the ongoing care of the children in a constructive and cost-effective manner.
Taylor Walton’s experienced family lawyers can provide advice concerning issues which arise in relation to the children of separated parents, whether this is school holiday arrangements or otherwise.
If you have questions regarding this topic, please contact Will Mercer who is a Partner in Taylor Walton’s Family Department and can be contacted on 01727 818509 or firstname.lastname@example.org . You can also contact Isaac Wilson who is a Trainee Solicitor in Taylor Walton’s Family Department on email@example.com or call him on 01727 845245 .