With the first summer holidays on the horizon since we have emerged from lockdowns and the pandemic, a lot of families, especially with children have been looking at booking a much-needed summer holiday. You may have booked the time off work and are looking forward to some much-needed quality time with your children. Then out of the blue, the other parent is now not in agreement with your plans, is there anything you can do?
Firstly, and easier said than done, remain calm. If temperatures are raised, it is unlikely to lead to a positive resolution and is more likely lead to stalemate. Also, remember your children, where there is a dispute between parents are normally “stuck in the middle.”
It is key to find out the reasons behind the other parent’s change of mind – there may be perfectly valid reasons, perhaps your children have said they do not want to go, the Foreign Office have advised against travel to that particular place or your children have a trip planned with holiday club or Scouts/Guides or an important family occasion such as a wedding or christening.
Rather than charging off to Court, if you are unable to sit down and have a civil conversation with the other parent, when the children are not around, you should consider attending Mediation. The Government has extended the Family Mediation Voucher Scheme to support parents from resolving issues with child arrangements, more information can be found here: https://www.familymediationcouncil.org.uk/mediation-vouchers/.
If you are not able to reach a solution at Mediation, or Mediation is not suitable, we can advise you of next steps and suggest a way forward, which may include making an application to the Court for either a Specific Issue Order or Child Arrangements Order.
Finally, do not leave any changes or making plans to the last minute, communicate these as soon as possible. Consider how you would feel if you had planned a trip with the children and you are told last minute that these needed to change.
If you cannot reach an agreement about changes to your summer holiday plans, or if you have left the planning to the last minute, then get in touch with our family department for specialist legal advice as soon as possible with our Family Law team on 01255 320 555 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Assistant Family Solicitor