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Holiday Contact

It is often the case that bitter disagreements can arise between parents over Holiday contact arrangements.  It can be an area fraught with emotion.  With only 3 weeks left to Easter here are hopefully some useful tips which could help avoid nasty, last minute disputes:

1.    Plan Ahead;
Do not leave discussion over contact arrangements to the last minute when there will simply not be enough time to sort out details properly.
Do not assume your family lawyer will be instantly available at the last minute to help you resolve your contact problem.  Planning now means starting to talk with your ex-partner about arrangements.  If you cannot talk direct for whatever reason then consider using an agreed third party family member as an informal member.  Use someone you both trust.  If there is no one available like this then consider a referral now to a Family Mediator.
2.     Family Mediation; 
Family Meditators are solicitors but they are entirely neutral and independent.  You can self refer direct.  One advantage of mediation is that Legal Aid is still available subject of course to financial eligibility.  You do not necessarily have to sit in the same room with your ex-partner if you do not want to.  This is called Shuttle Mediation.  If you want this form of mediation then you need to tell the Mediator at the beginning of the process.
3.    Concentrate on what is best for the children;
Consider above everything else what your children want.  Holidays are all about children and you will want your children to have good memories of their holidays as they grow up.  You do not want their recollection to be clouded by arguments between mum and dad.  Do not underestimate how aware your children will be of conflict between you and your ex-partner.
4.    Instruct Family Solicitor now;
Lastly if the above 3 do not work contact your family solicitor in order to give him or her enough time to get an application to Court and a hearing date before the actual start date of the holiday period.  It takes time for your solicitor to get an initial hearing date from the Court.
For more information on this and related family matters please contact our Leicester office on 0116 2517181