Put your children first
Arrangements for your children should be based on what is in their best interests. Speak with your children to see what they would like to do. Try and take everyone’s wishes in consideration when discussing holiday arrangements. Keeping the children’s welfare at the centre of your negotiations should make reaching a compromise far easier.
Give yourself plenty of time to negotiate and reach a compromise. Whilst booking your holiday last minute may be cheaper, having last minute conversations with your ex-partner only increases tension and makes it less likely to reach an amicable compromise. The earlier you are able to co-ordinate diaries with your ex-partner, taking into consideration respective work and other commitments, the better.
Summer holidays are for giving your children lasting memories. You should try and ensure that your children can enjoy time with both you and your ex-partner. Refusing to agree on holidays or making your children feel guilty for wanting to spend time with your ex-partner may have a negative impact on them. Being flexible with your ex-partner when making arrangements may make them more likely to reciprocate with a flexible approach and assist you.
Supply all the information you have about your planned holiday to your ex-partner so that they can be comfortable with the plan. Do not book anything until the holiday has been agreed. Set up logistics for the handover of the children’s passports in good time before the set holiday dates. Avoid booking holiday dates which result in the children missing school or will result in them still suffering from jet-lag on the day they return to school. Your ex-partner will be unwilling to agree to any arrangements that clearly are not in your children’s best interests.
Mediation can provide an ideal forum within which to discuss the arrangements for the children’s holidays or any other child related issues. It provides a forum where open and frank discussions can take place which is a preferable approach than having to make an application to court for a Judge to determine holiday arrangements. Making an application to court can be stressful and expensive and so should be viewed only as a last resort.
Carline Gayle-Buckle is a specialist in family law at Moore & Tibbits solicitors. Call 01926 491181 for free initial advice or to arrange a consultation.