Call Us: 01253 362 500

Blog & News

Separated Parents: Make Plans for the School Summer Holidays

The school summer holidays can be a joyous time for children, but for separated parents, it often comes with unique challenges. Balancing schedules, managing emotions, and ensuring the kids have a memorable break requires careful planning and communication.

Donna Amos, Director and Family Solicitor shares some practical words of advice to help separated parents navigate the summer holidays smoothly.

Successfully navigating the school summer holidays as separated parents requires cooperation, planning, and a focus on the children’s needs. By communicating openly, planning jointly, and maintaining a flexible approach, you can ensure that the summer break is a joyful and stress-free time for your children. Remember, the goal is to create lasting positive memories for your kids, showing them that even in a separated family, they are loved and prioritised by both parents.

Start Planning Early

Communication is key. Begin discussions about the summer holidays well in advance. Establish open lines of communication with your co-parent to discuss plans, preferences, and schedules. Early planning helps avoid last minute conflicts and ensures both parents can accommodate their own work schedules and commitments.

Using a shared digital calendar or a parenting app can help to keep things organised. These useful tools allow both parents to input and view planned activities, trips abroad and contact arrangements. This helps keep everyone on the same page and reduces the risk of misunderstandings.

Scheduling your shared time early allows you some time to resolve conflicts if they arise and means that you can seek legal advice if you are struggling to reach an agreement.

Focus on the Children

Prioritise your children’s emotions. This might mean being more flexible and putting your differences aside with your ex-partner. Maintaining stability is essential. Consistency is important for children, especially those navigating the dynamics of separated parents. Try to maintain a routine that includes regular sleep schedules, mealtimes, and familiar activities. This stability helps children feel secure and reduces anxiety.

Balance Time Fairly

Strive for an equitable division of time with your children. This doesn’t always mean a 50/50 split, but rather an arrangement that considers both parents’ availability and the children’s best interests. Flexibility and fairness are key.

Stick to the agreed-upon schedules as closely as possible. If changes are necessary, communicate them early and negotiate respectfully. Reliability helps build trust and reduces stress for both parents and children.

Consider Joint Activities

If your relationship with your co-parent is amicable, consider planning some joint activities. This can provide a sense of normality and unity for your children. Activities like picnics, family barbecues, or attending school fayres together can be beneficial for younger children or those struggling to cope with the early days of a separation.

While joint activities can be positive, it’s crucial to set clear boundaries to avoid misunderstandings. Ensure that both parents are comfortable with the arrangement and that the focus remains on the children’s happiness.

Of course, in many cases it is not suitable for separated parents to come together like this, but it is something to consider for some families.

Handle Holidays Thoughtfully

Discuss and coordinate holiday plans to ensure there are no overlapping dates that could cause conflicts. Agree on a reasonable amount of travel time each parent can have and communicate travel details to keep the other parent informed.

Transitioning between households or holidays can be stressful for children. Prepare them in advance by discussing plans and remaining positive. Keeping familiar items like favourite toys, electronics or books can make transitions smoother.

Keep Communication Open

Regular check-ins are a good idea. Maintain regular communication with your children during the holidays, especially if they are spending extended periods with the other parent. This reassures them of your presence and interest in their well-being.

Speak positively about the other parent in front of your children. This encourages a healthy relationship and reduces feelings of guilt or divided loyalty.

Plan for the Unexpected

Backup plans are significantly important. Despite the best planning, unexpected events can occur. Have backup plans in place for emergencies or last-minute changes. This might include arranging for a trusted relative or friend to step in if necessary.

You should try and stay flexible. Flexibility is essential. Life is unpredictable, and being able to adapt to changes calmly and cooperatively sets a good example for your children.

Disagreements Over the Summer Holidays

It is not uncommon for separated parents to find themselves in conflict over the school holidays. Whether you are struggling to agree on the amount of time each parent has, childcare, costs for holiday clubs or running into issues about taking children abroad, disagreements are bound to arise.

Planning ahead and using the tips above will help to mitigate disagreements. But if you find yourself embroiled in a heated dispute, you might need to seek legal advice to help you find a reasonable way forward.

Our friendly and experienced family law team are on hand to help you navigate issues involving your children following divorce or separation. For advice, please contact us on 01253 362500. Alternatively you can email our team on or complete our enquiry form online and a call back will be arranged.

Image of a mother walking along the beach with her young son running ahead

Services For You

At Barker Booth & Eastwood we understand that seeking personal legal advice can sometimes be a daunting prospect. Rest assured you’ll ...

Read More

Services For Business

At Barker Booth & Eastwood we understand that seeking personal legal advice can sometimes be a daunting prospect. Rest assured you’ll ...

Read More

Why Choose BBE Law

Results every time Barker Booth & Eastwood is the law firm of choice for individuals, families and businesses throughout Blackpool and the ...

Read More

Our People

We are a long established progressive firm of solicitors with a well earned reputation for providing practical legal advice to clients, ...

Read More