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Seeing Your Children During the Half Term Holiday

Seeing Your Children During the Half Term Holiday

As separated and divorced fathers call our children lawyers to discuss their problems in getting half term holiday contact with their children, our family solicitors learn that separated or divorced dads need answers about getting to see their children during the school half term holidays and how best to resolve half term holiday contact disputes.

Online and London Family Law Solicitors and Children Lawyers

For advice about child contact after separation or divorce call the expert London family lawyers at OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or complete our online enquiry form.

Half term holiday contact

Whether you are a newly separated dad or if you have been divorced for years, contact with your children remains a concern for many fathers as they simply can’t agree the school holiday contact arrangements with the children’s mother. There can be many reasons for half term holiday contact disputes, such as:

  • All contact is refused – this may be because you are facing serious allegations of domestic violence or because you believe that parental alienation is taking place. Alternatively, it may be that the children’s mother has decided that she wants to take the children out of London for the whole of the half term holiday to see her family, despite your wanting to see the children and the children wanting to see you.
  • Contact conditions – half term holiday contact may be on offer but on terms and conditions that are not acceptable to you. For example, the children’s mother may be saying that you can't take the children to see your parents during the half term holiday despite the grandparents being desperate to see the children. Alternatively, the children’s mother may object to the children spending extra time with you if they will meet your new partner and her children during the holiday contact. That may be because the children’s mother may think it is too soon for the children to spend holiday time with your new partner or because emotions are running high and she is struggling to come to terms with the end of the relationship or down to the fact that your children have said they don’t like your new partner’s children and don’t want to spend time with them.
  • Unequal half term holiday contact – you may have been offered some extra half term holiday contact but not half the school holiday. That can feel unfair. Alternatively, you may have been told that you need to look after the children during half term because of the work commitments of the children’s mother or because she wants to have extra time with the children during either the Easter or summer school holidays. You may also prefer to enjoy your holiday contact time with the children during the better UK weather and therefore not want to agree to look after the children during the February or Autumn half term holiday.      

Whatever the reason why you can't agree the half term holiday contact arrangements, a children lawyer can help you with:

  • Agreeing the child contact through solicitor letters, negotiation or roundtable meetings.
  • Applying to the family court to get you a child arrangement order to set out the contact time you should spend with your children, including holiday time.
  • If there is an existing child arrangement order, and you are not getting the contact in accordance with the court order, looking at the option of applying to court to enforce the order.
  • If you want to take the children abroad on holiday, and the children’s mother won't agree to a particular overseas holiday, applying to court for an order to give you permission to take the children on holiday out of the UK.
  • Providing you with legal support whilst you attend family mediation. With children law legal advice, tailored to your circumstances, you may feel more confident about reaching a child contact agreement in family mediation.
  • Helping you understand your legal options whilst you are going to couple counselling or family counselling to see if the assistance of a counsellor can help you resolve the contact dispute.

Do I need a child arrangement order to get half term holiday contact?

Most fathers don’t need to apply to court to get a child arrangement order to see their children at half term. However, in some situations, a child arrangement order application is your best option.

With a children law consultation, the children lawyers at OTS Solicitors will give you an honest opinion about your best options to see your children at half term, the costs involved and the likely timescale to get your child arrangement order. Once you have your child arrangement order from the court this should sort out any future child contact disputes as the order should set out how future child holiday contact will be resolved. For example, the court order could say that during every school holiday the contact time will be shared equally between both parents. That means the principle of shared holiday contact is ordered , even though the precise half term holiday and other school holiday dates may change each year.

Online and London Family Law Solicitors and Children Lawyers

For advice on half term child contact arrangements and child arrangement order applications call the expert London children and family lawyers at OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or complete our online enquiry form.

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