The summer holidays will soon begin! For many parents, this is time to take vacations, spend quality time with their children, and create lifelong memories. For divorced or separated parents, however, summer holidays may mean additional duties, juggling work and home, and dealing with the stress that comes with it. There may be disagreements concerning co-parenting arrangements, of course, both parents want time to themselves and with the kids but just how do you split it fairly?
Mediation can help you agree to a co-parenting plan that is suitable for both parents and the kids. Family Mediators can help separated or divorcing parents in coming to an agreement and creating a plan that will keep the family, particularly the kids, happy, and stress-free and allow them to enjoy the holidays without the questioning of how they will be spending their summer.
Tips for a smooth holiday split
Pre-plan the holidays!
There may be times when you feel the urge to avoid speaking with your ex. After a breakup, emotions can be high and so can the number of disagreements, but the best way to ensure a smooth vacation is to pre-plan it. We tend to refrain from discussing problems because we typically believe that if a problem is not brought up, it does not exist. However, the reality is almost the complete opposite, and the holidays quickly loom in.
The earlier you start and plan, the more time you have to work out any issues and the greater the likelihood that the holidays will go smoothly, when it comes to raising the kids, it is always good for both parents to be on the same page, and you’ll be able to spend time with your children stress-free and happy.
Discuss with your children
When children are old enough to talk and comprehend, it is always a good idea to ask them about their feelings or what they want to do. Parents may win their children’s trust and show them that they care about the kids by considering their feelings.
Set a calendar and stick to it
While you may feel anxious while taking vacations, setting a calendar can be helpful in keeping you on track with your plans.
You can also use a calendar for summer holidays that can help you sort out the days of the childcare and add any other events such as activity clubs, birthday parties, sports day, and vacations that are booked.
Once you have dates that you are thinking of planning with the kids, you can send it over to your ex for them to have a look at it and fill out their part as well, maybe share a google calendar or look into parenting apps. This way both of you are aware of the other’s plans and you can have a smooth holiday ahead.
Taking children abroad?
It’s legal to take your kids on a vacation within the UK without the parent’s consent, but when it comes to taking them abroad, parental consent is mandatory. This is usually just Mom and Dad and a signed form but in some cases, the court may have assigned the parental responsibility to another family member. It’s important to discuss the plans with your ex in time mostly before booking a vacation, to avoid any disappointment or money loss.
If you are taking the kids abroad, your ex can have many questions concerning about kid’s safety and security. These issues can be resolved by simple discussion/ communication, but Mediation is always an option if you are having trouble resolving them on your own.
Make sure to have a Plan B in case of emergency
If for whatever reason you are unable to care for the children, but your ex or his family is willing to do so. Ask yourself is allowing my youngster to spend time with family rather than in daycare good? Is it in my child’s best interests? Keep in mind that children should always come first and should not be exposed to conflicts or disagreements between parents.
Sometimes, there will be emergencies that you aren’t able to anticipate. If something happens and your plans are not working out as per your schedule, then there should always be a Plan B. Both the parents want to spend time with the kids hence they need to be more flexible and show your ex the same courtesy as you would expect from them.
Summer holidays are a time for families to relax, unwind and have a break from their daily routine. Families who have a chance to spend time together and strengthen bonds is something to be cherished.