The Summer Time Blues.
By DSGroup | Wednesday, April 25, 2012, 13:56
Summer is looming on the horizon and the usual applications
for summer holiday contact are piling up on lawyer's desks and in the lists of
County Courts up and down the land. And
Warminster is no exception. Mediators are beginning to see their first lot of
seasonal cases based on how much time children should spend with each parent
during the long summer holidays and where that time should be spent. It is because the summer holidays are so long
that this issue raises its head. It is
seasonal, like arguments over where the children should spend Christmas Day or
New Year's Eve. Summer is the longest
school holiday of the year and parents who hitherto have been 'short-changed'
in the child contact department feel, that now is their opportunity to spend
real, quality, uninterrupted time with their child. Now, due to the length of the holiday, they
can even manage a two week break to take them away. Is this wonderful? Not to the parent, seething with resentment
that a holiday with the ex, might mean forfeiting their own plans for a holiday
with their child.
What often happens is that, despite the fact that the summer
is about 6 weeks in length, both parents decide that they want to take their
child on holiday over the same period of time.
Not possible. Who should take
precedence then? The argument goes, that
tickets have already been bought, or that the grandparents are only available
to be on holiday with the child during that particular time, or the step
brothers and sisters are only available (on release from their resident parent)
during that two weeks and how nice would it be if your child could be on
holiday at the same time as them. The
argument on the other side goes that the child's godmother has invited him and
you away and that is the only time that she has that particular flat that you
can all stay in, or a whole bunch of friends have rented a villa and they are
all going with their children, so you can't go without yours. It is the judgement of Solomon to make these
decisions in the absence of agreement.
Whichever parent succeeds the other parent fails. One is bound to be unhappy. Judgements are based on what happened last summer,
whose plans are the most immoveable, what would be best for the child.
Do other factors come into play when ex couples polarise
themselves and pitch into battle? Is it
that it is hard to be on your own for two weeks without your children when you
are the main carer and with them most of the time. Is it that, feeling on the edge of things as
the non-resident parent, it is the time to redress the balance and equalise the
scales in your favour. Both these
things are true and both bring with them, problems because it is the children
who are caught in the middle. The summer
reminds us of times when we were together as a family, making plans all under
one roof and singing from the same hymn sheet.
The summer post separation can feel more like an argument waiting to
happen and it can feel like loss and unfamiliarity. It's not easy to find a suitable holiday venue
alone with your children that you feel comfortable with so invitations from
friends or family have to be taken advantage of even if the dates don't suit
everyone. Summer time and the living is
If you're struggling to cope with your divorce, there's no
need to feel isolated. Help is available in Warminster, so please visit www.divorcesupportgroup.co.uk for details on local groups.