The Summer Time Blues.

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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

easy? Not always.

If you're struggling to cope with your divorce, there's no

need to feel isolated. Help is available in Warminster, so please visit for details on local groups. 



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