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It’s the summer holidays…..
Does walking along Leigh Broadway and seeing children walking along laughing as they hold hands with their parents fill you with joy or upset? There are many reasons why there could be poignant thoughts or personal stress attached to the carefree, bare foot images of children running free with their happy parents. We wish that was us, but the reality is that there are many, many families for whom the summer holidays is not so straightforward.
Single working parents will struggle with childcare through the long summer. But those with a non-resident parent for their child may have just as many difficulties as they try to negotiate reliable shared care arrangements upon which they can rely in order to get to work. It is important for those parents to realise that shared time with their children has to work for both parties, and considered negotiation is essential. If you have experienced difficulties this summer, make sure that by the next holidays you get the arrangements in place. It is not too late to seek legal advice even this summer if arrangements have been broken.
It is not just about the parents’ needs to get to work. It is about the children feeling secure and settled, and knowing that their parents are sharing the responsibility. The Children Act specifies that all arrangements must be in the best interest of the child first and foremost.
We all look forward to time away with our loved ones and many of us plan the clothes shopping, the saving of spending money, and the logistics weeks ahead. But if you are a separated parent you need to ensure that there are safeguards in place to make sure that when you pick your child up for that holiday, the passport is also handed over. If you have any doubt as to the reliability of the co- parent to hand over the essential paperwork to take your child abroad, then it is advisable to have a legal document in place to take with you. Similarly, if you have re-married and have a different surname to you child; best take the evidence with you.
The problem is that we all love to spend the special time with our children. We want them to share celebrations and holidays. We want them to be part of our wider family. Sometimes there are difficulties with this because both parents want the same thing and there is a clash, and sometimes, sadly there is a reluctance by one party to accept that the child is as important part of the other parent’s family as of their own. Small tweaks to family court orders such as spending a parent’s birthday, or Father’s/Mother’s day with that parent can have long term benefits to a child who will then grow up recognising each of their parent’s special days. They will become used to being a part of that parent’s life, and that at the end, is what every child wants.
This editorial 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