Managing Child Arrangements Over the Summer Holidays


Managing Child Arrangements Over the Summer Holidays

During the summer holidays, separated parents often wish to vary the terms of their existing regular child contact arrangements so that they can, for example, take their children on a trip abroad.

However, reaching an agreement on contact can sometimes be easier said than done, with many factors potentially conspiring against ex-partners’ ability to reach a consensus.

Existing work commitments, practical and financial constraints, and difficulties in communicating with an ex can all make conversation about child arrangements difficult, and discussions can quickly become strained.

So, how do you reach an agreement with an ex-partner about what should happen to your children over the school holidays?

In this blog, our Child Lawyers answer some frequently asked questions about managing child arrangements.

How do I agree with my ex-partner on holiday contact arrangements about my child?

Much like ex-partners must agree on arrangements for their children when they separate, similar plans must be made for the summer break and other school holidays if the usual parenting agreement needs to be changed.

Ideally, separated parents should make their own arrangements. However, we don’t live in an ideal world, and reaching an agreement with an ex is often easier said than done.

There are some ways to facilitate discussions.

1. Plan ahead. School term dates are often released a year or so in advance. Planning ahead and working out what is going to happen during the holidays in good time can increase the chances of your reaching an agreement with your ex and avoid the stress of any last-minute panic.

2. Be open. Conversations with an ex-partner can be hard and it can be difficult to remain calm when attempting to resolve issues involving your children. However, remaining open minded and communicating in a positive way can greatly benefit everyone involved.

3. Put your children first. It is important to not lose sight of the main purpose of the conversation. Remembering that the wellbeing of your children comes first and that you both have their best interests at heart can help keep conversations on track.

4. Remember there is help if you need it. Many specialist services exist to support separated parents. Mediation is particularly useful in family disputes and can greatly assist separated parents manage various arrangements, including agreeing on holiday plans for children.

What if I can’t agree with an ex-partner on child arrangements over the holidays?

Except in certain circumstances, it is usually preferable for separated parents to agree a plan for their children’s holiday contact arrangements between themselves, whether this is possible without any external assistance, or with the help of a family mediator.

However, should negotiations break down entirely, it is advisable to seek the advice of an experienced Family solicitor who can apply to the court for a Child Arrangements Order on your behalf.

A Child Arrangements Order (CAO) regulates who children live with, spend time with, and how often and how contact should take place. It can also include provision for what happens during holiday periods.
More information about CAOs is available in our free guide by clicking here.

Do I need permission to take my child abroad?

If you intend to travel outside of the UK with a child, you must obtain permission from everyone who shares parental responsibility for the child or have been granted permission by the court.

You should take with you a written copy of a letter from your ex-partner that expresses their consent to the child’s trip or a copy of the court order that allows you to travel when you go on holiday.

This is the case regardless of whether the child shares the same surname as the travelling parent or has a different surname.

Failure to obtain the necessary permission can be considered child abduction, which is a criminal offence.
You do not need to obtain the other parent’s permission if you intend to take your child on holiday to another part of England or Wales, as this is the same jurisdiction.

Child Law Solicitors Near Me

At Bookers & Bolton, our Family Law solicitors can help you in your negotiation of child arrangements, finding a suitable solution that is in the best interests of your child.

In most situations, it is recommended that families try and achieve a mutual agreement regarding arrangements for their children without involving the court.

However, if you are unable to reach an agreement through negotiation or mediation, we can also help support parents to have matters resolved by the Family Court.

We recognise that you only come to us when faced with the most important decisions in life, and we treat you and those issues with the respect and legal diligence that they call for.

Our Head of Family, Paul Wilson, is an Accredited Family Mediator and member of Resolution, the Family Law group that is committed to promoting a constructive approach to family issues and considers the needs of the whole family.

Paul and the rest of our specialist Family Law solicitors are here to help and can advise you on all your child arrangement matters.

We have extensive experience in disputes regarding children, including agreeing on contact, in the event of a divorce, civil partnership dissolution, or separation.

For more information or to speak to one of our experienced Family Law solicitors in Alton, Hampshire, please contact us on 01420 82881, email or make a free online enquiry.

Paul and our other Family Law solicitors often meet clients over Zoom and can make out-of-hours appointments if required. All queries are dealt with in the strictest confidence.

Get In Touch

To speak to one of our experienced child arrangements solicitors near you, contact us on 01420 82881, email us at or make an online enquiry here.