21 Mar First Mother’s Day since separating?
Contact arrangements can be a difficult situation to navigate at the best of times for parents who have separated and this can be more so when it comes to special occasions such as Mother’s Day. Whilst many separated parents will be able to agree to term time and holiday contact arrangements, often other important celebrations are overlooked. Such as Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and birthdays. This can cause issues where the special day does not land on a parent’s pre-arranged contact day.
So, what can be done if your special day doesn’t fall on the day that you are meant to have the children? Well, there are a couple of options available to ensure that everyone’s needs are met. It is always worth keeping in mind that it can rarely be said to be in the children’s best interests if care arrangements are stuck to rigidly by their parents. It is usually best for all if there can be some flexibility.
Talk About It
If you are in the fortunate position of being able to talk to your ex-partner amicably then this can be a great option provided both parties have understanding here.
Remember, it is important to be considerate in what you are asking for. You might be asking for your ex-partner to give up their day of contact and as such a compromise may be needed. Can you offer them another day to make up for their lost time?
One of the easiest options is to have special days noted in your Separation Agreement. This will mean both you and your ex-partner will have made note of arrangements which vary from the usual set up for special occasions such as Mother’s Day.
By doing this you can ensure that days which are important to you can be provided for in a fair manner e.g. If Mother’s Day lands on a day where you would not usually see the children, make similar provision for your partner to have them on a day that is important to them. Perhaps Father’s Day or a birthday. Give some thought to this in advance and before your separation agreement is finalised. Your solicitor can give you guidance on this.
If speaking directly to your ex-partner isn’t an option and you haven’t included arrangements in your Separation Agreement, there are other ways to navigate the conversation.
These options include:
- Having a mutual friend or family member help to mediate.
- Using an organisation to help with mediation, such as Relationships Scotland.
- Consulting your solicitor to attempt to re-negotiate and vary the terms of the care arrangements.
As a last resort, there is the option to apply to the court for an order. However, it is important to remember there is no certainty in the outcome of a decision from the court.
One last thing!
As younger children especially will no doubt be learning about Mother’s/Father’s Day at nursery and school, it is a nice idea to help them buy or make a card and present to give to their Mum/Dad on the day.