Summer holidays mark six weeks of meticulous childcare arrangements which can be particularly hard on separated parents and can stir feelings of resentment and heartache. Similarly to Christmas, the summer time will involve lots of planning and potentially some level of compromise.
In order to ensure the holidays run smoothly and provide minimum disruption for the children, here are a few handy tips.
Communicate With Your Children
In this situation the most important people are your children. With the potential stress involved, it can be easy to forget this but ensuring that you communicate with your children about the plans you have for the holidays will keep them as the focal point. Springing plans on them at the last minute or changing plans without consulting them will result in your children becoming confused and resentful.
If you have plans to take them abroad or on a break in the UK, make sure to communicate your intentions early on.
It almost goes without saying but you should also take the time to ask your children how they would like to spend their break. Whether they mention wanting to meet with friends or going to see a film at the cinema, if they understand that you are taking their wishes (within reason of course!) into consideration, there will be a much happier atmosphere all round.
Work Out a Plan That Works For All
While you may not be on ideal terms with your ex-partner, it is important that you remain considerate when making plans. If your ex-partner would normally see your children every other weekend, try not to reduce these times just because you want to make other plans. Always try to stay calm and rational when dealing with an ex-partner as an amicable decision is more likely to be reached when both parties are dedicated to establishing a plan that suits all.
Working and Childcare Arrangements
As with all school holidays if you have a full or part time job, your childcare arrangements may rely heavily on your holiday allowances. With most annual leave allowances, it is impossible to have all six weeks off work so you will have to plan carefully when you wish to take your days off.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help if your annual leave allowances don’t cover all of the days you need. Consider suggesting your ex-partner has the children for some extra days, ask family members to mind the children or pay for professional childcare/summer clubs.
Mediation Remains an Option
If an agreement cannot be reached, don’t be afraid to consider mediation. Mediation allows you to sit down with a trained third party to settle disputes out of court. At Farleys, our family law solicitors recognise that there are some instances where, despite your best efforts, resolution cannot be reached. In this situation, we are happy to assist and refer you to experienced mediators.
To speak to a specialist family lawyer in Blackburn, Burnley, Preston and across Lancashire and the North West, please call 0845 287 0939 or contact us through our online enquiry form.