Are temperatures and tempers rising?

Continental Europe has been basking in a heatwave and after a very wet spring, summer may just have arrived in the UK.

It is probable that you have already pre-booked your summer holidays abroad or you may be planning a last minute “staycation” in the UK.

For many people, a summer holiday is a period to enjoy time with their other half and family and cement loving bonds, but for others it can be the last chance to rescue a failing relationship or a stressful time around access to children.

Lindsey Canning, head of family law at Wake Smith, looks at how when temperatures rise, then so can heated discussions.

She said: “Holidays are on the whole an enjoyable experience, but if there are problems within the marriage, those problems can become exacerbated when couples spend time together.

“It is frequently highlighted in the media that Christmas can be a very difficult time for parties when they are experiencing difficulties in their relationship.

“The theory then is of course that both parties hope that a “magical” Christmas will help resolve matters and that they will be able to spend time together as a family and “re-connect” with each other. However, the reality is that concentrated time together can be a stressful time and spending time with each other as a family can often bring issues within the relationship into sharp relief.

“In many respects this is no different in the summer holidays. Most people hope that time relaxing together will be better, there will not be the stresses of day to day working life.

“However sometimes it can be worse during the summer period, particularly if one is abroad on holiday without an easy means of having some time to oneself, should problems occur.

“At home in the UK at Christmas it is quite easy to jump in the car and go and see a friend, but on holiday, far from where you live, accessing your support network is not that easy to do. This is also coupled with the fact that the holiday has been paid for, and so it is there to be experienced, whether one party likes it or not.”

Time on holiday can also bring childcare issues to the forefront.

Lindsey added: “If you are planning time on holiday with your children from a previous relationship then hopefully you have made plans in advance.

“If you are taking the children abroad and have an old fashioned “Residence Order” then you are automatically entitled to take the children out of the jurisdiction for 4 weeks without having to get the other parent’s permission or, failing which, permission of the Court.

“Residence Orders are no longer ordered by the Court but are now instead called “Child Arrangements Orders” and if the Child Arrangements Order includes reference to the child “living with” this also comes with the ability to take the children out of the jurisdiction automatically for 4 weeks.

“When most parents separate, they do not need to get an Order from the Court because they are in agreement as to how they are going to co-parent their children.

“If there is no Court Order in place, but the other parent agrees to the children being taken abroad on holiday, it is always a good idea to take with you to the airport a letter from the other parent giving their consent to the holiday.”

Wake Smith’s Family and Divorce solicitors deal with many issues following the breakdown of relationships acting on behalf of spouses/partners going through a divorce or separation who may not be able to resolve issues between themselves regarding their family, children or finances.

For further information call Wake Smith’s family team on 0114 266 6660.

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