Child Custody During the Holidays – Family Solicitors

Child Custody During the Holidays – Blackburn Family Solicitors
Legally reviewed by: Jonathan Pollard In: Child Care

School holidays have started for lots of families across the UK. Summer holidays usually provide some quality family time spent today, either at home or on holiday. However, for some separated parents the holidays can be a stressful time if a Child Arrangement Order is not in place to divide child custody during the holidays.

A frequent issue for separated parents is where their child should spend their summer holiday. This can become even more difficult when the separation is recent as there can be more logistical issues to overcome. Agreeing on how much time a child should spend with each parent during the holidays can be a sensitive matter. Conflicts between child arrangements can cause tension between parents and disappointments for the child. Therefore, it’s recommended to get professional legal advice to get a Child Arrangement Order, to assure both parents get quality time with their child over the summer holidays.

What To Do if Your Former Partner is Making Child Custody During the Holidays Hard?

If you and your partner have separated and you cannot agree on how much time your child should spend with each parent, you may need to apply to the court for a Child Arrangement Order.

What is a Child Arrangement Order?

A Child Arrangement Order sets out whom your child should live with and how much time they should spend with each parent. This can cover holidays, special occasions, and other forms of contract, such as Facetime or Skype. Each Child Arrangement case is decided on the circumstances of the individual family and in the best interest of the child. Therefore, there is no such thing as a ‘usual’ arrangement. Child Arrangement Orders are governed by section 8 of the Children Act 1989.


In some situations, you must attend mediation with your former partner. In mediation, you will meet with a trained mediator who will help resolve any disputes without the need to escalate the matter to court.

The price of a mediator will fluctuate depending on where you live and how many sessions you attend. However, you may be able to get legal aid for the mediation if you are on a low income.

At the end of your mediation sessions, you will receive a document showing what you agreed on. This agreement is not legally binding. To make the document legally binding, you will need to get a solicitor to draft a consent order for the court to approve.

It should be noted, that in some instances the mediator may advise that mediation is not right for you. An example of this would be if there is domestic abuse. In this instance, you will need to go straight to the court instead.

If both parents cannot reach an agreement in mediation, then an application to the Court can be made. Before making an order, the court will consider if it is in the child’s best interests to grant a Child Arrangement Order. The court can then either make an order by consent or at a final hearing after hearing evidence.

How Long Does a Child Arrangement Last?

A child arrangement usually lasts until the child is 16 years old. During this time it will be up to the parents how child custody during the holiday is divided. However, the order can be varied or discharged at any time by the Court if the order no longer serves the best interest of the child.

Once the child has turned 16 it will be up to the child to decide how much contact they would like to have with the parent they do not live with.

The ‘live with’ element of a Child Arrangements Order remains legally binding until the child reaches the age of 18. However, the Court are very reluctant to enforce these orders over the age of 16 unless there have been exceptional circumstances.

Frequently Asked Questions

You should not take your child outside of England and Wales without permission. Therefore, you must obtain permission from the people who have parental responsibility. Without permission, you will be committing a Child Abduction Offence.

If the other parent does not permit you to take your child on holiday, you will need to ask the court for permission. 

You do not require permission if you wish to take your child on holiday within England and Wales. However, you may have a court order detailing the time you get your child. Therefore, if the holiday impacts the court agreement, you will need to inform the other parent of your plans.

If you have a Child Arrangement, stating that your child is living in your residence, you can take your child out of the country for a maximum of 28 days, without any permission. An exception to this rule would be if the court has specifically told you that you cannot do this. If both parents have responsibility for the child, you will need to obtain written permission from your former partner before taking the child on holiday.

Cartwright King – Expert Family Law Solicitors.           

At Cartwright King we understand that family cases are unique to each person. Therefore, our Family Law Solicitors provide legal expertise with compassion and care. For a consultation about your child agreements, call the experienced lawyers at Cartwright King on 03458 941 622

and our solicitors will get back to you.

Legal Disclaimer.

All advice is correct at time of publication.