Mother’s Day this year falls on Sunday 27 March 2022. Whilst this is a special time of the year for mothers who are looking forward to celebrating with their family and children, there are some mothers who find these special times of the year particularly difficult after separation or divorce.
Following separation or divorce, parents can agree how long children should spend with each parent and on which days of the years. Such arrangements can take into account special days such as Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and holidays. However, this can be a big task for parents who are not on amicable terms.
There are options available to separating couples in respect of children arrangements. These include:-
Agreement between the parents
The parents could sit down and agree on time for the children spend with each parent and factor in what would happen on special dates.
For example, in circumstances where children spend alternate weekends with their father and a special occasion such as Mother’s Day falls on the father’s weekend, it is reasonable to ask the father either to swap the weekend in exchange or for the children to spend the Sunday with their mother, so the children can see her on Mother’s Day. Clearly, the converse will apply equally to Father’s Day.
If the mother and father cannot reach an agreement between themselves, they can also consider attending mediation. This is a cheaper alternative than going to court and the mediators can help the parties reach an agreement.
If the above options are unsuccessful, it may be necessary for a parent to make an application for a Child Arrangements Order for the court to consider the division of a child’s time more generally. This will set out the contact arrangements and will take into account special occasions such as Mother’s Day and Father’s Day and what would happen in the circumstances when those days fall on the other parent’s weekend. The welfare of the child will be the court’s paramount consideration and the Court will decide what is in the child’s best interests. Generally, the courts would want the children to spend Mother’s Day and Father’s Day with their respective parents and Court orders routinely make provision for adjustments to be made to the usual arrangements if necessary, in order to facilitate that.
If matters can be resolved amicably, then this is beneficial to all but unfortunately this sometimes is not the case. If you find yourself in this situation and need assistance, please contact Rayden Solicitors to discuss matters further with a specialist family solicitor.