Child contact in the holidays-have you got it sorted?
The half-term holiday is looming followed by Easter at the end of March. Don’t leave it too late to reach an agreement on any child contact issues.
Divorce and separation are both highly stressful and life-changing events for parents and their children. The changes in child living arrangements as a result of divorce and separation can be hard to adjust to. As the non-resident parent, you may find this difficult to deal with as the holidays are looming.
If this is your first Easter following divorce or separation it may take some getting used to. Certain rituals or traditions will take on a different feeling. For example, which parent is going to set up the Easter Egg Hunt? Allow yourself time to adjust to the new circumstances. It’s important for parents to arrange child contact agreements in readiness for half-term and holiday periods. Involvement of both parents is thought to be in the child’s best interests and is beneficial to their well-being.
How can our solicitors help you with child contact agreements?
Creating a Parenting Agreement for this period can provide a mutually agreed plan. This helps both parents and children adjust to the changes because it removes uncertainty and sets expectations for both parents. It’s understandable that these arrangements can be difficult to discuss, especially if there is still resentment between parents. However, the child’s feelings should be the focus and the aim should be reaching an amicable agreement. Our Family Law Solicitors will facilitate you in completing this document and act as a third party witness. We can also assist you through voluntary mediation or applying for court orders which may be necessary in reaching agreements. It’s important to remember that the success of the plan is dependent on both parents respecting the jointly made decisions.
After the holiday period is over we recommend reviewing your arrangements and planning for the next steps.
After contact agreements have been made
Once there are contact agreements in place for the holidays, it is important to honour them. Picking up and returning home time should be clear to prevent tension and potential arguments. Children will be happier and enjoy the holidays if they can see both parents are able to work together amicably. It also prevents the child from feeling anxiety and guilt about leaving one parent to go and stay with the other.
If you’re already in a contact agreement you may know you do not have your children on Easter Sunday. This can be very hard as the season approaches, especially if you have been seeing them on this day in previous years. It’s important to remain positive and in high spirits and spend as much time as you can with your children in the run-up to Easter. This will help the children to feel more excited about the upcoming holiday and they will be happier knowing that you are happy too and therefore time spent together is memorable and fun. Showing upset and frustration outwardly in front of the children can cause them to easily absorb any tensions or upset which is negative for their health and well-being.