The summer holidays are upon us and for some separated parents, arrangements have been made already for the summer break.  However, for others this can be a difficult and complicated time trying to agree a fair and suitable plan.

It is important to remember that there is no law that details how much time a child should spend with either parent: the law expects both parents to make these arrangements jointly with the best interests of the children in mind.

The best way to deal with arrangements is to communicate positively with one another by providing each other with as much notice as possible of any holiday arrangements.

Be sure to provide information as to where you will be staying with the children together with details of any travel dates and times.

Agree beforehand how and when the other parent will contact the children whilst in the care of the other parent.  Be sure on both sides to adhere to any arrangement reached unless of course it is an emergency situation.

Be prepared to negotiate and have the children’s interests in mind.  After all, children benefit from a relationship with both parents and benefit emotionally when their parents appear united.

If you are unable to reach an agreement then a referral to mediation can be made.  A mediator, who will be independent and impartial, will guide you in reaching a reasonable agreement.  However, if mediation fails, or is unsuitable, as a last resort, an application can be made to the Family Court for a Specific Issue Order.  The Court would consider whether any proposed arrangement would be in the best interests of the children, and if necessary would make an appropriate Order.

Unless there are issues surrounding the return of the children, the Court is likely to agree that a holiday abroad is certainly something that the children would enjoy.  It will above all allow them to spend quality time with the parent in question.  However, if safeguards are necessary, the Court can place these within an Order to protect the children.

If you require further advice or assistance with resolving holiday arrangements, please contact one of our specialist family lawyers on 0845 287 0939 or submit your enquiry online and one of the team will get in touch with you.