The summer holidays are soon upon us. No doubt the child arrangements were agreed some time ago, and the intention is those arrangements go to plan.

However, you may have experienced difficulties in previous summer holidays and if you’re worried about the forthcoming arrangements for the summer break, it’s advisable to seek urgent advice from a specialist family law solicitor before it is too late.

Any arrangements for children should be agreed between the parents on the basis that both share parental responsibilities, so any decisions should be made jointly. In some situations, parents may find it difficult to comply with the arrangements.

In some cases, it can be justified, but in others it may not. Instead of focusing on children, one parent may be focused on unresolved adult issues which shouldn’t be part of the discussions regarding arrangements for the children.

The preference is for an informal agreement but, in some cases, a written agreement may be preferable so both parties are clear on the arrangements.

If difficulties remain, it may be necessary to seek advice from a solicitor, consider other avenues for dispute resolution (such as mediation or arbitration) and in the worst-case scenario, a court application may need to be made.

This will ensure clarity on the arrangements and most importantly, ensure stability for the children, who should know when they are spending time with each parent.

A Child Arrangement Order can also ensure any arrangements fit in with the children’s existing routines, as well as the time they spend with their own friends.

If you have any anxieties about the arrangements with your ex-partner, or worry they may not comply with the agreement, you must get in touch with a specialist family law solicitor. They will be able to guide you on the next best steps available.

The paramount consideration is always the welfare of the children and what is in their best interests. So, when negotiating arrangements for the children, this must be the focus, rather than the preference of either parent.

If the agreement is clear, child-focused, and provides stability and security for the children, then everyone should look forward to the forthcoming summer holidays.

For more information on Blythe Liggins, call 01926 831231 or visit www.blytheliggins.co.uk.

CAPTION: Sophia Mellor, head of family law at Blythe Liggins Solicitors, Leamington Spa.

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