Holiday strife?

8 August 2011

During this time of the year we are often approached by clients faced with arguments about how the children should divide their time between their parents during the school summer holidays. These disputes have the potential to be acrimonious and stressful to all concerned. Clients often query what is the “usual” or “normal” arrangement where parents have separated which is a difficult question to answer as there is no regime prescribed by the law or a right or wrong answer and our response is often whatever the client, as the parent, considers to be in the child’s / children’s best interest(s). As a guide, the experts often suggest that it is appropriate for younger children to visit / stay with the non resident parent for shorter periods of time but more frequently and as the children become older, that the periods of time should be extended to larger blocks of time (perhaps with the principle of the school holidays being divided equally). Our advice is always to grapple with the issue well in advance of any school holidays (particularly where foreign travel is planned) to try to avoid last minute fraught negotiations and potentially a Court application.

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