Half term headaches and resolving childcare issues
As the October half term fast approaches, many separated parents will be faced with the daunting task of trying to determine with whom the children shall live with over that week.
Whilst it may be surprising that these arrangements are not already in place, many families leave it to the last minute which inevitably results in disagreement and stressful situations for all involved. It also means that parents are unable to book activities and holidays in advance.
In these circumstances, one parent can feel hard done by or that they are missing out on important time. In addition, parents can often feel guilty or lonely when the children are with the other parent.
There are no set rules as to how the school holidays should be divided between parents and the majority of the eventual pattern should be reached by communication, taking into account working shift patterns, views of the children (if they are old enough) and other commitments.
What should also be considered are forms of indirect contact, such as video and telephone calls or text messages when the children are with the other parent.
Whilst previously-agreed arrangements can never provide for every eventuality, and a certain level of flexibility is highly desirable, it is always best for parents to agree an overall framework which suits the whole family during all holiday periods which can either be split, consecutive or alternated. However, in some circumstances Court intervention may be required to achieve this.
It goes without saying that having a routine in place which spans the school holidays across the year will provide for better relationships all round and a settled family with children who can feel happy knowing how much time they are spending with each parent at each holiday.
If you are struggling to agree a split of this half term or other school holidays, then specialist legal advice could help you reach a resolution.