School holidays and family law


School holidays can be a real problem for parents who have separated. Even if you have regular contact arrangements during term-time, holidays can disrupt the normal routine and lead to disagreements and tension.

It is not uncommon for school holidays to trigger difficult conversations about how the children will divide their time between parents.

The best way to nip these issues in the bud and prevent tempers flaring is to put an agreement in place in advance which sets out clearly how school holidays will be managed, including how much notice each parent must give the other if they wish to arrange a holiday away.

The priority must always be to put the wishes and needs of the children first and the key to ensuring conflict is avoided is to open the debate with your ex-partner as early as possible.

A quarter of all families in the UK are headed by a single parent, so you are definitely not on your own in facing these issues.

As the holidays approach, we’ve put together some tips to help you plan:

• Make a list of all the school holiday dates so that you, your ex-partner and wider families are clear about childcare needs. You can then discuss which days you would like to spend with the children to ensure you both have a chance to spend quality time with them.

• Plan ahead for the costs of childcare, so that you can come to an agreement and avoid misunderstandings or resentment.

• Some holidays such as birthdays or religious festivals will have even greater significance. Planning in advance so that you both have the opportunity to share in the occasion is essential.

• Holidays, particularly abroad, can cause anxiety for parents. Again, clear communication, sharing itineraries and contact details can help put your ex-partner at ease.

• Children quickly pick up on emotions, so if you do feel any anger or hurt about contact arrangements, try to shield the children from this to avoid them feeling guilty or confused. The best option is always to try to involve them in decision-making whenever possible.

At Beswicks Legal we have a team of family law specialists who understand that a family breakdown can be an extremely emotional and stressful time.

We can help you to sort out issues involving the care of your children, setting out a secure framework for all the important areas of your child’s growing up.

Having a trusted expert on your side will minimise the worry and allow you to focus on your family and your future, which is why we offer our Beswicks Overview service.