All packed and ready to go?

Author:

-Valid passports - check;

-Tickets printed - check;

-Travellers’ cheques ordered - check;

-Sun cream - check.

Some of the holiday essentials when planning the well earned break over the Easter holidays.

However separated couples can face an added dilemma of having to agree the holiday arrangements with a former partner. Parents often have to juggle work commitments and child care and this can be even trickier where lines of communication are strained or broken.

Obviously not everyone is able to reach agreement as to arrangements for the children such as holiday plans and it may be necessary to make an application to the Court for a decision to be made, but what other options are open to the couple?

Often conflict can be resolved through involvement of specialist solicitors. Many family law solicitors are members of Resolution who believe in a constructive and non confrontational approach to sort out the dispute.

Alternatively the couple may decide to try mediation. A mediator will meet with the couple together and will identify the issues on which they cannot agree and assist them with their discussions to try and reach an agreement. However the mediator is neutral and will not take sides and will encourage the couple to take legal advice when necessary.

The couple may prefer to deal with issues through collaborative law where they and their lawyers work together. Rather than relying on an exchange of letters and telephone calls the couple and the lawyers all meet together to work out matters face to face constructively.

Both mediation and collaborative law have the distinct advantage that the process is not driven by a court timetable and can be built around the family’s individual priorities seeking solutions.

Children benefit hugely from knowing that their parents are working out their differences together as reinforced in this quote from Rosie then aged 9 - "It’s about sharing. If you see both parents, it’s sharing time, love, money, everything. I’m quite lucky really ‘cos my dad and mum aren’t rivals or anything. They’re just not together." (Parent Problems by Bren Neale & Jennifer Flowerdew published by Young Voice).

If you require help or further information please contact a member of our family team at either our Southampton or Salisbury offices.