Divorce and Family Law
Price Slater Gawne
Home chevron_right Articles chevron_right Navigating Child Arrange…

Divorce and Family Law

Navigating Child Arrangements During School Holidays and Special Occasions

Nicholas Clough, Head of Divorce and Family Law discusses key considerations to assist divorced/separated parents in effectively discussing & agreeing temporary alterations to agreed child arrangement

Nicholas Clough

by Nicholas Clough

calendar_month 13 May 24

schedule 2 min read

School holidays and special occasions are usually a time filled with joy and memory making opportunities, but for divorced or separated couples, they can also be a time of unrest and negotiation as amendments are often made to the ‘usual’ child arrangement patterns established.

What do I need to consider when changing arrangements?

As families navigate school holidays and occasions for the first time, or look to adjust previously agreed arrangements, there are a number of factors to consider. Here we discuss key considerations to assist divorced/separated parents in effectively discussing and agreeing temporary alterations to agreed child arrangements.

  1. Communication: Effective communication between parents is vital for successful child arrangements. Open and honest dialogue, preferably in writing, can help clarify expectations and avoid misunderstandings.
  2. Flexibility: Flexibility is key, especially during school holidays when schedules may vary. Both parents should be willing to accommodate changes and make compromises to ensure the child’s best interests are met.
  3. Planning Ahead: Planning ahead is crucial to avoid last-minute conflicts. Parents should discuss holiday plans well in advance and agree on specific dates and arrangements.
  4. Child’s Wishes: Children aged 12 or over may be asked for their input regarding proposed arrangements. While the child’s wishes are considered, they are not decisive in determining arrangements. However, older children’s preferences may carry more weight, particularly if they are mature enough to express reasoned opinions.
  5. Maintaining Stability: It’s essential to maintain stability and routine for the child, even during school holidays. Consistency in arrangements and minimising disruptions can help children adjust better to the changes brought about by divorce.

Do I require a solicitor to alter previously agreed child arrangements?

Whilst it is preferable to agree child arrangements between you as parents without legal involvement, this is not always feasible or possible. In such instances, you may require legal assistance from a solicitor with experience in such discussions. There are however a range of legal approaches to such discussions, including:

  1. Mediation: Mediation can be an effective way to resolve disputes amicably. A trained mediator can facilitate constructive discussions and help parents reach mutually acceptable agreements.
  2. Court Proceedings: If parents cannot reach an agreement through mediation or negotiation, they may resort to court proceedings. However, court involvement should be considered a last resort, as it can be time-consuming, expensive, and adversarial.
  3. Parenting Plans: Parenting plans are written agreements that outline child arrangements, including custody, visitation, and decision-making responsibilities. Parents can create these plans voluntarily or with the assistance of a mediator or solicitor.

Navigating child arrangements during school holidays as divorced parents can be challenging, but with open communication, flexibility, and a focus on the child’s best interests, it is possible to find mutually acceptable solutions. Seeking legal advice from a qualified solicitor specialising in family law can provide invaluable guidance and support throughout the process, ensuring the welfare of the child remains paramount. Remember, putting aside personal differences and prioritising the wellbeing of your child is the cornerstone of successful co-parenting post-divorce.

If you would like to speak to a member of the Price Slater Gawne team regarding assistance with child arrangement discussions, please contact Head of Divorce and Family Law and qualified Mediator, Nicholas Clough at Nicholas.Clough@psg-law.co.uk on or 03333 058375.

Get in Touch

If you would like to speak with one of our expert lawyers, just call or email using the information below, or complete this form.

call03333 058375 mailinfo@psg-law.co.uk

Our Accreditations