We’re all going on a summer holiday
The summer holidays are fast approaching - a time when separating parents often face the struggle of trying to agree care arrangements for their children. Tensions run high as the parents find themselves battling over family holidays with the children.
Unfortunately, in these situations, children and teenagers can, unintentionally, be caught up in the middle. Parents may think they are looking out for their children but in reality they can end up being used as a weapon. All too frequently, separating parents will make their child the messenger and attempt to communicate with one another through them. Worse still, where they are turning into young adults themselves, some parents will share too much detail with their children.
This can leave children feeling confused and torn between their loyalties to both their parents. Ultimately they run the risk of carrying war wounds from their parents’ divorce all the way through to their own adulthood and future relationships.
Communication is key
When separating parents are able to maintain a level of communication with one another, we often find that it is much easier for them to reach agreements regarding the care arrangements for their children. Ultimately, it is important to recognise that there is no hard and fast rule when it comes to holiday arrangements. Every family has its own dynamics and needs, all of which should be taken into account.
Initially you should establish what is in the children’s best interests and then attempt to have discussions around the issue to establish a middle ground. Children will inevitably want to spend time with both parents over the holidays and, save for in exceptional and/or extreme circumstances, this should always be encouraged. If you find that you are unable to agree matters then seek legal advice and perhaps also consider mediation. If one parent is being deliberately obstructive then you may need to consider issuing proceedings, however, generally this can be avoided if you have the right support in place.
Help is at hand
At asb law our specialist family team offers expert legal advice in relation to all matters arising from divorce/separation, including issues relating to the welfare of children. We understand the sensitivities arising from a relationship breakdown and protecting your child’s welfare will be the main focus of the advice and support we provide.
In most cases, whether you are looking for flexibility or a more structured parenting plan, this can be achieved by adopting a resolution friendly approach. As with all disputes though, from time to time, litigation is the only avenue available. In either eventuality, asb law works alongside a number of other family professionals including, mediators, therapists and counsellors who may be able to assist in dealing with any disputes regarding the children and offer the full support you require; after all, when the dust finally settles, family ties continue long after a relationship ends.
For more information please contact Gail Brooks, Associate, Private Client - Family.
Published: 29 Jul 2016