Separated couples and School holidays – how does it work?
With Easter school holidays just around the corner, a lot of parents who have separated from their partners face the dilemma of how to organise custody arrangements over the holiday period. If you find yourself having difficulties reaching agreement about custody over the holidays with your ex, there are tools which may be of assistance. This post will discuss two – parenting plans and parenting orders. Both of these ensure that arrangements are organised in advance to avoid the stress of on-going negotiations.
Parenting plans are voluntary agreements negotiated and drafted (often with the assistance of solicitors) and signed by both parties. They lay out the details of how much time the child/ren will spend with each parenting, including during school holidays and other special occasions. Unlike parenting orders, they can be changed at any time upon agreement between the parties. Therefore, many people find these preferable as they allow for flexibility. However, they are not enforceable by a court. If one party does not abide by the parenting plan, you will need to resolve the dispute amongst yourselves. If a resolution cannot be reached upon breach, you may bring proceedings in the court to obtain a parenting order.
Parenting orders are orders by the court for parenting arrangements. Like parenting plans, they may include orders for living arrangements for the child/ren between the parents, including during holiday periods. An advantage of parenting orders is that they are enforceable by the court. Therefore, they are beneficial in circumstances where communication between the parties is poor. To change parenting orders, one party can apply to the court, or the parties can jointly consent to amendments.
Deciding whether a parenting plan or parenting orders is best for you can be an overwhelming decision. However, they are useful tools to ensure clarity and alleviate the stress of on-going negotiations for parenting arrangements. If you would like more information on how to manage parenting arrangements, contact one of our specialist family lawyers today.