Coping with school holidays following separation

Browndog Agency



Divorce and separation can create new challenges for parents during the school holidays and meticulous planning is often required to cover childcare and accommodate everyone’s plans.


Holidays have the potential to create tension between parents for all sorts of reasons. Sometimes it’s because one parent is planning to take the kids on a holiday of a lifetime that the other could never afford. For other families, one parent may feel they are shouldering the burden of childcare alone without much support.


When children are spending time with the other parent in the holidays, it can be helpful to see it as an opportunity to enjoy some ‘me time’ and to try not to dwell on how much you miss them and the fun they might be having without you. If one parent is not pulling their weight when it comes to childcare over the holidays, it is important to sit down together as soon as possible to try and find a way forward and reach a compromise, with the help of family mediation if needed.


Remember that children like certainty and will appreciate being told what will be happening during the holidays. Schools provide holiday dates for the next academic year well in advance, so it is possible to plan ahead and make sure everyone knows what to expect.


One common flashpoint occurs when a parent decides to book a trip abroad with their children without letting the other parent know in advance. Always communicate your plans with the rest of the family before bookings are finalised and when the trip takes place, remember to share contact details and emergency numbers for peace of mind and safety.


School holiday care directly involves your children so ask for their input. It’s easy for adults to make the decisions but children will appreciate being consulted and kept informed. They may have their own plans to take into account, such as sports tournaments or holidays with friends.


It can be hard to let your children out of your sight to travel abroad or to spend long periods away from home with their other parent. However, it is important for children to have a relationship with both their parents wherever possible and school holidays can be a good opportunity for them to spend quality time with each parent.


If you are struggling to make amicable arrangements for the holidays, talk to us about family mediation. This can be a positive way to resolve conflict and help the whole family move forward.


For family law advice and support call Barnes Family Law on 01274 861096