In our Ask The Legal Expert column we get the latest specialist advice from JCP Solicitors.
Jill Bulteel who is a Director and Head of the Family team, based in the Caerphilly office, tackles an issue around planning school holiday arrangements for separated families.
My ex-partner and I split recently and things are fractious. We don’t want our ten-year-old daughter to get caught up in disputes about who has her over the school holidays. How should we approach this?
You are wise to try to avoid confrontation regarding your arrangements for the holidays. Holiday time can put extra stress upon all families, whether they are traditional family units, blended families, or separated families. Hopefully if you can settle into a pattern now that you agree on it will give you a good template for the future, too. If your daughter is ten there will be many more holidays to come.
If you have a complex family, making holidays work for everyone takes compromise. As with all matters concerning children, it is always best for you, as parents, to try to agree in advance what the arrangements will be, so your daughter has a feeling of security and it will help everyone settle their plans in good time.
Try to see the bigger picture and to compromise – if your ex gets to see your daughter for more days than you during this break, perhaps you could enjoy more of her company when Christmas comes around. It won’t be long now. If you aren’t able to agree upon arrangements, consider meeting with your chosen Solicitor who can refer you to an independent mediator. They may be able to help you find a resolution everyone can live with.
If mediation doesn’t work, or if you have left it too late to go down this route, you might have to make an application to the Court. The Court will consider all your circumstances before making a decision based on what is in the child’s best interests and, if your daughter is mature enough, her wishes may be taken into consideration too.
For more information, please contact Jill on: 02920 860628 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The question posed is based upon a hypothetical situation. This content does not constitute legal advice and is provided for general information purposes only.