Holiday Entitlement

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    I’ve been split from my partner for 2.5 years. I have a 3 1/2 yr old son who I have for 2 days 2 nights every fortnight plus a day here and there and holidays. I take him to football 1 week, then collect from pre-school the following week and take to lunch and so on week after week ( 100 mile rnd trip )

    What I am trying to find out is, what am I entitled to with regards to school holidays ? Is it 50/50 ?

    Our argument at the moment are the summer holidays. My ex asked if we could between us, arrange something for the holidays as nursery and pre-school are both closed. My ex has said she can my son 6th-19th as she has holiday booked from work. I asked if I could have him from 1st -5th and also 20th-28th. With me taking him away from 20th – 28th. She has now come back and said I can only have my son for the 1st week of August, unfair and petty !

    Before going to a Solicitor and paying for their services, I’m just after some advice please ?



    #9131 Report


    You absolutely don’t need a solicitor. Waste of money and an unnecessary escalation of a problem that can be negotiated amicably. Firstly, the weeks you’re asking for, have you got anything booked yet?

    This sort of area is where a Parenting Plan comes into its own. It doesn’t have to be 50/50, but its obvious if the children live mainly with one parent then holidays are the most likely period for the non-resident to spend more time with their children. For example you could have two weeks consecutively end of July/beginning of August. You both have to be flexible, and not have the children caught in the middle. If she’s utterly inflexible, why? To help you talk through these issues, mediation would be far preferable. If you can both agree a Parenting Plan and sign it, then it’s something you can fall back on if it later gets violated by either partner and could be used as leverage to take the matter to court – you don’t need a solicitor to do that at a cost of £10k or whatever.

    It’s been 2.5 years so there must have been negotiation on contact issues since then? See some links below for advice and reference on rights. If you want a Parenting Plan template, PM me your email address. If I can help further, let me know.

    Support with any parenting problem: Family Lives 24 hour FREE helpline 0808 800 2222

    Advice re: arrangements for children, mediation, going to court

    Separation disputes:

    Arrangements for children:

    Representing yourself in court:

    Publicly funded mediation:


    <span style=”mso-fareast-font-family: ‘Times New Roman’; mso-bidi-font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-latin; color: black; mso-themecolor: text1; mso-font-kerning: 18.0pt; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;”>Practice Direction 12b – Child Arrangements Programme: </span>

    All the best.

    #9132 Report


    Thanks for your reply 🙂


    Originally I worked 4 on 4 off and had my son 2days/2nights a week based on my shift pattern. I then changed my job to accommodate him starting pre-school and went onto Sunday – Thursday nights. I often have problems booking holidays  as, and in her words, ” I don’t want our son away from me for too long”. There’s no issues what so ever with myself and my son, if anything he is always asking for me. We’ve just come back form Belgium where we were for 8 days. One holiday is enough tends to be her excuse more often than not.

    #9133 Report


    Sounds just a bit jealous – but she’s not giving a good enough excuse that would satisfy a court. However, before you could take her to court to formalise a Parenting Plan you’d have to go to mediation anyway – and they could help you agree on a Parenting Plan rather than it having to go to court (if she knows she’ll come out of it looking bad). So, suggest mediation, say that he’s with her more than you through term time, you’re only asking for another week (she’s probably annoyed she can’t afford to take him on holiday as much as you and that makes her feel guilty – so try and be gentle about it, but make it clear you feel it’s unreasonable and won’t to come to an agreement – provide some quotes from the links I sent you).

    This is no doubt upsetting and annoying for you, but some parents don’t get ANY contact with their children. You’ll do fine and it will work out.

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