With the school summer holidays just around the corner, it’s time to think about sorting out your holiday parenting arrangements. Planning ahead is always the best way as the long summer school holiday can often bring stressful challenges. When making summer holiday arrangements, it is important to put the best interests of your children first and work with the other parent to address any difficulties and can help to ensure smooth sailing
How to prepare for the 2022 summer holiday
Start talking early – Communicating means there’s less conflict and you’ll both be a lot calmer. Try to make sure you’re very clear on what days and times you’d like to spend with your child. 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.
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 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. If you are not named on the order as the parent with whom the child lives you will need consent. If the other parent withholds consent, you can apply to the court for an order and they can decide if the holiday should go ahead.
When arranging holidays abroad handing over passports early can help to alleviate stress. It is also advisable for one parent to take responsibility for making sure your children’s passports are up to date.
Maintain regular contact with the other parent to keep them up to date with your travel plans.
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 address these concerns, it will help ensure you have a relaxing and happy holiday and promotes positive co-parenting.
What if you cannot agree on child contact arrangements?
We advise most separated parents who are unable to resolve difficulties themselves to try mediation in the first instance if it is suitable. This can help to try and work out your differences in the best interests of your child or children, and you can look at ways you can communicate effectively in the future. 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.
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