Ways To Survive The Summer Holidays When You Are A Separated Family – Part One
BBC Radio Leicester Interview with Collaborative Practitioner and Family Lawyer James Belderbos
Summer – and the school summer holidays in particular – can bring stress to many families. We are familiar with the pressures that Christmas can bring with families thrown together over the festive period, but the summer holidays can also create stress and opportunities for conflict.
Sadly, like Christmas, the aftermath of a family holiday can be too much to bear for some couples, who then consider separation.
All parents, and those of us who remember our childhood holidays, will recall crunch points. Holidays are wonderful – but they can bring specific pressures to bear on family life:
- Disrupted routine – we all like routine and can get annoyed when things get changed
- Sleepless hot nights – tiredness can cause short fuses
- Expense – cost of holidays
- Where to go?
- Relatives joining the family holiday
- Flights / airports / packing the car
Many like to think of long hot summer holidays as carefree days – but the reality is that carefree holidays can take a lot of planning, time and effort.
The school holidays can bring other pressures, such as: who is to look after the children, especially where both mum and dad are working? Even greater pressures come to bear when families are separated. It can be a particularly challenging time for divorced and separated parents.
Children really look forward to summer at the end of a long hard year. Not surprisingly, they want to go on holiday, have days out and to have fun.
Possible challenges to be aware of:
- Where a child normally simply spends just a weekend away from a primary carer – will the other parent have to negotiate more than two nights away?
- When will the holiday be? Clashing dates?
- Younger children may spend two weeks with a non-resident parent whereas older children may share time between both parents. Children’s needs change.
- Those who co-parent well may not have a strict schedule as they may value flexibility, allowing for unexpected opportunities. But sometimes planning ahead means setting dates in stone.
- How the children can contact the other parent when away – mobile phones, email etc?
- Who will organise and pay for summer camps?
This means that co-parenting skills – which were under pressure before separation – are put under greater strain during the holidays.
How can Collaborative Lawyers help?
I am one of 14 Collaboratively Trained Family Lawyers in Leicestershire & Rutland. The Collaborative Process allows a couple to sit down, each with their own specially-trained Collaborative Lawyer, and find solutions in an amicable way.
It can help with agreeing on finances – but when it comes to children, it can also help parents to agree on a Parenting Plan – which can include how the parents have agreed to manage the Summer holidays!
“Not only was James extremely attentive to accuracy and detail, he showed compassion and kindness (a trait not often associated with lawyers!) and steered me towards reaching a satisfactory result with my divorce.” Nicole Brent, Nottinghamshire
Call us for a no-obligation conversation to discuss your needs:
Rearsby: 01664 498 999
Oakham: 01572 490 660
Or email James@bbmlegal.co.uk
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