For children the summer holidays mean one thing – six weeks of freedom outside the rules and regulations of the classrooms. For parents on the other hand, although they relish the additional time they get to spend with their family finding suitable childcare arrangements can be nightmare.

Whilst cohabiting parents may choose to divide child care responsibilities between themselves, for separated couples forced to balance both theirs and their partner’s schedules, finding a solution can feel like a struggle. Shared care agreements have become an increasingly popular solution for separated parents, particularly those in which both parties are employed in full time work.

Shared care agreements allow both the mother and father to spend quality time with their children, having a hands-on involvement in their up bringing. It is rare the child will spend equal time with each parents and both parties are encouraged to find a solution that reflects the child’s best interest taking into account schooling and other important factors. Unfortunately where parents are in conflict with one another shared care arrangements will not work and they will be forced to seek alternative solutions.

So, what options are available for separated parents regarding the care of their child? Firstly, parents should seek advice regarding their legal rights and what position the court is likely to adopt regarding what is in the best interest of the child. Doing this will place parents in the best position to begin negotiations proposing practical solutions to any concerns the other party may have. Parents are also encouraged to consult a solicitor who will be able to draft a letter formally detailing any proposed arrangements. This can act as a point of reference in the event one or both parties were to break their side of the agreement. For those wishing to avoid the conflict and expense of court involvement, mediation and collaborative law provide attractive solutions.

Here at Farleys Solicitors our specialist family law team offer fixed fee Case Management Meetings to parents who feel they need legal advice regarding their situation. During this meeting an experienced solicitor will be able to advise you on the options available tailored to your personal circumstance. For further information regarding Child Care Arrangements or the other family law services we provide please don’t hesitate to contact us on 0845 287 0939. Alternatively please complete an online enquiry form.