Put Your Children First To Avoid Summer Holiday Family Disputes

Advice For Newly Separated Parents As 90,000 Children Face Summer Separation For First Time


Dave Grimshaw, Press Officer | 0114 274 4397

As Britain’s airports get set for the busiest month of the year specialist family lawyers, advising many separated families facing the holiday period for the first time, are pleading with parents to put their children’s wellbeing first to avoid harmful disputes.

The latest divorce statistics show that there are over 110,000 divorces each year with around half of these involving children. According to the latest stats the divorces affected more than 94,000 children under 16 each year.

Specialist family and divorce lawyers at Irwin Mitchell, who are working with the charity Voices in the Middle, say that newly separated parents need to ensure they put their children first.

Expert Opinion
“There are around 90,000 children facing the summer period in a separated family for the first time each year and it can be a distressing time for everyone involved.

“There can often be arguments about which parent is taking them on holiday, where they are going to go and when. But it’s important that parents remember that life isn’t a competition and there will be other holiday periods and they need to do what is best for their children. Often parents can resolve these issues themselves but there are options such as mediation which can help them to work through the issues amicably without the need for lengthy court battles.

“There is inevitably going to be some element of compromise and communication is crucial to ensuring that the children can enjoy their summer without any pressure or stresses caused by their parents fighting over them.”
Alison Hawes, Partner

The law also states that you must have permission before taking children abroad, otherwise it could be classed as Child Abduction even though you may have parental responsibility. A letter from the other parent is usually enough and you may be requested to show it to border control as well as birth or adoption certificates.

This year Irwin Mitchell is working with the charity Voices in The Middle which aims to ensure children involved in divorce and separation to have their say as well as providing children with advice and support in dealing with difficult situations. For more information visit voicesinthemiddle.org.uk

Irwin Mitchell’s Top 5 Tips for Avoiding Summer Holiday Trouble

1. Put the children first during the holidays. This may mean letting them go away with their other parent even if you don’t want them to.

2. Talk about your holiday plans and stick to what you have agreed – make sure the other parent knows how to contact you in an emergency and that they know the itinerary of where the children will be

3. Don’t use holidays to ‘score points’ over the other parent. your children just want to enjoy their holidays and it won’t help if both parents are constantly fighting and trying to out-do each other.

4. Agree in advance on how contacting their children on holiday will work and how often they will be in touch – again, stick to the level of contact you have agreed.

5. If discussions are breaking down or you are concerned about your former partner’s plans seek help. There are professionals who can help facilitate helpful discussions or as a last resort seek potential legal action.

Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in Family and Divorce Law.