Back to the School Gates!

September 5, 2017 by Melinda @ Giles Wilson Solicitors

Back to the School Gates!

The café culture in Leigh Broadway changes this week – early evenings in Irma’s Pizzeria in Rectory Grove are no longer thronging with tables of young families enjoying staying up late during the holidays, and early mornings in the Broadway are once again filled with business suits grabbing a coffee on their way in.

However Leigh Broadway is also the focal point for meet ups after school drop off – we have Westleigh, North Street, Chalkwell, St Michael’s and College St Pierre schools all in walking distance – and let’s face it the stress of the early morning school run often requires a catch up with friends, or a quiet Latte. Similar change in pace in our office; August is busy for those of us who hold the fort whilst those with young children take their summer break, but the legal world really hits the ground running in September. And a lot of our calls are from parents looking for advice on separation – sadly not every family summer holiday is pretty as the travel agent pictures. For those parents, the school drop off or pick up can be doubly complicated on top of the usual type of stress of the School Gates now the subject of even Ladybird books!

The great news for parents who find themselves seeking advice is that the climate is so much more supportive of shared parenting arrangements these days; the children really do get put at the centre of discussions regarding caring responsibilities. This can be hard for some parents who find it difficult to actually communicate at all with their Ex, but the reality is that all of us know that in most cases it is in a child’s best interest to have a good relationship with each parent and to see them get along well enough. Most of us remember that terrible 1980’s film – “War of the Roses”…. don’t let your family end up like that!

How to avoid it? Seek advice early on! Let your expectations be managed by a conciliatory experienced solicitor preferably a member of Resolution – national organisation of family lawyers committed to non-confrontational divorce, separation and other family problems. It is possible to attend Mediation together for example.

Unfortunately there are some situations where one parent has behaved in a way that results in their being a court order forbidding that the child spends time alone with that parent. If this is the case, then schools have to be vigilant not to allow the child to be picked up by that parent – this is not necessarily an easy task for those working in schools, and a difficult subject to broach with parents. If your child is in that situation it is important to provide the school with clear information and to engage your solicitor in helping in that where necessary.

Just think – it is only 12 weeks till the School Nativity….

This article is by Melinda Giles at Giles Wilson Solicitors.
For legal advice please call 01702 477 106 or visit one of Giles Wilson's offices: 1711 London Road Leigh, 54 Leigh Broadway, 5 Roche Close Rochford