New research on childcare arrangements over the summer period

New research conducted by Slater and Gordon has revealed common issues faced by separated parents around the summer period regarding child arrangements.

19 July 2022

Woman on laptop with child

With the end of July marking the start of the summer holidays for most children across the UK, parents are preparing themselves for six weeks of childcare, days out and entertainment. However, for some families it can be one of the most challenging times of the year.

When it comes to making arrangements for childcare, recent research conducted by Slater and Gordon* found that just one-fifth (19%) of separated parents have a formal child arrangement in place for their children. For the remaining 81%, this creates potential for difficult disputes between parents. In fact, our research also revealed that 27% of separated parents are already feeling stressed about potential arguments over childcare this summer. Of those with no formal arrangement in place, 37% said they have an informal agreement with their ex-partner.

The research also shows more than half (55%) admit to having argued with an ex-partner over child arrangements throughout the summer, with 34% wishing their ex-partner took more responsibility for care of their children over the break.

When it comes to going on holiday, almost one-fifth (17%) of separated parents wouldn’t allow their ex-partner to take their children on a break with a more notable 58% saying they wouldn’t let their ex-partner take their children on holiday with their new love interest.

Despite the stress some parents are feeling right now, there is a way to prevent any future disagreements. A parenting plan, agreed by all parties, provides a clear directive as to what responsibilities each parent is expected to take regarding childcare.

Georgina Chase, head of family practice at Slater and Gordon, said: “During term time and normal working weeks, an informal agreement regarding childcare may work for you and your family. However, concerns arise when additional childcare arrangements are required and exacerbated further with the introduction of holidays.”

“One way to help mitigate against the potential for future disagreements is to agree child arrangements and enter into a parenting plan. By doing this, you can amicably agree childcare and holiday time with your ex-partner ensuring all parties are aware of what is expected of them. This not only provides both parents with the additional support they may require during the summer break, but also allows the children to spend more time with their parents while they are not in school.

Working with a specialist family law solicitor to draw up a prescriptive agreement regarding child arrangements often results in a more amicable relationship between separated parents, which is much less likely to impact the child negatively.”

At Slater and Gordon, our experts are here to treat you and your family with care and sensitivity, and like you, we want to help find the best possible solution for your children.

If you’d like help or advice in reaching an agreement for child arrangements, or any other aspect of children’s law, speak to one of our family law experts today by calling 0330 041 5869 or contact us online.

*Research was conducted with 1000 separated or divorced parents in the UK throughout 28.06.22-04.07.22 and was conducted by third party, Opinion Matters.

*The information contained in this article was correct at the time of publication.

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