The challenges of school holidays

  • Posted

Posted 22/07/2015

Mary Pearce 1397334690_MaryPearceCPX.jpg

School holidays are often a challenging time for separated families. Working out arrangements for children to spend time with each of their parents, as well as their wider family, can be the subject of a lot of dispute.

Changing family units inevitably mean a change in routine and that applies very much in the holiday periods. After years of working with separated parents, I have seen how much of a struggle it can be for parents to come to terms with the idea that their children will spend days and weeks away from them in the summer.

The best advice I can give to parents is to think about what their children want and need. It is important for children to have regular time with both of their parents and the holiday period is no exception.  Many families alternate trips away year on year, with children spending blocks of time with one of their parents and perhaps days at home with the remaining parent.  This gives children the opportunity to experience holidays with both their parents and provides an easy structure for even young children to understand. However, in the modern day many parents may have new partners who themselves have children so holidays might include exciting, or daunting, new children so it is best to forewarn the children to avoid any surprises. 

At the beginning of the long summer break, what are your options if you and your ex cannot agree arrangements? Mediation can help you and your ex talk through issues in a supportive, non confrontational environment.

As a firm with a family mediator, we know how powerful it can be for parents to talk to each other face to face, openly and honestly. Often, these conversations might be happening after a period of there being very limited communication between parents, and much of that might have been by text or email.   Listening to each other’s views, even if you don’t necessarily agree with what you hear, can enable both parents to move on and ultimately begin to work together to decide what is best for their children.

Mediation is a voluntary process where you and your ex work with a mediator to resolve issues. You and your ex partner set the agenda about what you want to discuss.   The mediator will not take sides and will provide support to you both in exploring each of your worries and aims with a view to you reaching agreement on next steps.

At Ashtons Legal, we offer an initial meeting at no charge to anyone who wants to find out more about the mediation process.  For more information, contact me on 01284 732117.


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