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SASH_Law
SASH_Law, Lawyer
Category: Law
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Experience:  LLB (Hons)
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I had booked a holiday in July to go to Jamaica with my son.

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I had booked a holiday in July to go to Jamaica with my son. I have a Court order with my ex for shared acre. He agree to the dates of my holiday last year. And now because of the Pandemic I am unable to go on holiday but still have my leave booked. My ex is now saying because my holiday to Jamaica is no longer happening then I can only have 1 week of my agreed holiday instead of the 2 weeks that he agreed and that our son will be in his care on the weekend we should have been away. Is it my holiday still counts irrespective of I’m not going abroad and will now be spending my 2 week leave at home instead. His solicitor states that I have to agree to his demands because I am no longer going abroad. Is it the dates that matter because he agreed to these or is his solicitor correct as my holiday has been cancelled due to pandemic I have to forfeit my time with my son
JA: What steps have you taken? Have you filed any papers in family court?
Customer: We have a court order and it states that if holidays cannot be agrees then it reverts to 50/50 holiday so if dates can’t be agreed then. My son goes to him on set days. He agreed to these dates last year and I told him where we were going and he agreed to them. The difference now is the destination not the dates. We can’t go to Jamaica because we can’t fly. Surely the fact I’m still on leave and we would be spending our holiday at home that this still counts as my holiday dates irrespective of where we go or not
JA: Family Court normally sits in a local County and Magistrates' Court. Do you know the location of the court? If not, what county do you live in?
Customer: Wigan
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: His solicitor is being very personal in her correspondence to me saying things like I’m combative and that she is very disappointed in me. Can she treat me like this I am not her client.

Hi, I'm Lea and I have reviewed your query.

Can you attach a copy of the court order please.

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Does that mean I won’t get a phone call as the money is leaving my account as I type
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Will my question be answered do I wait for them to ring me

I have just read the order and it is clear that in the event that there are no arrangements for holidays that the normal term time pattern shall resume.

In that respect, the request for the contact to remain as normal is in line with the order. If you would still like the time that you have booked off, then you should negotiate with the father, and if he is not in agreement, your option is to apply to the court to continue to have the time that was agreed and booked, even though you are no longer going abroad.

Can I clarify anything for you about my response?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok so does that mean as my holiday time was cancelled due to know fault of my own. And that I still have the leave booked and the holiday will be home based instead of going abroad then he can do this. What if I cannot afford to go on holiday and spend my leave at home. Does that mean my child can never have my full attention for the full 2 weeks.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am still on annual leave just because I am now unable to go to Jamaica does that mean I am not allowed my annual leave with my son

Different lawyers have different approaches - some follow their client's instructions to the letter, and I suspect that is what the father's solicitor has done in this instance, as if he had asked me for guidance I would have advised him to just leave the holiday as it was as his son would enjoy the extra time with his mother regardless of if the holiday was at home or abroad.

The difficulty is that the order is very clear that if there is no overseas holiday then the matter reverts to standard contact.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Does it have to be overseas or holidays in this country do you have to be away from your own home for it to be classed as a holiday
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
basically if I can’t afford to go on holiday and I take my annual leave at home then my child cannot have that time with me

It states the holidays should be agreed between you, and if not, revert to the order - see 1(J) of the order.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have seen it. The dates of holiday were agreed the fact that the venue has changed the dates have not. I don’t understand the difference

See 1(O) of the order - it says in the event nothing is booked it reverts to the order. There would be the possibility of arguing that the holiday is in fact booked and therefore you are entitled to take it as a holiday whether you will be going abroad or not.

As I said, I think the solicitor should have taken a pragmatic view and advised the father not to make a fuss about it.

I think you should probably insist on taking the holiday - and if the father won't agree, then go to court to ask for clarification.

It is entirely reasonable for you to want to take a two week period of time for holidays with your child - none of us are enjoying this pandemic, so having some special time together is important.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
If I were to not let my child go as the dates were agreed but the venue has changed as my ex did this 2 years ago when he told court he was going to Florida for 14 days but only went for 10 then kept the child at his house on my days then did he breach the court order in that respect.

You could point out that breach to his solicitor when you state that the holiday is booked and where the holiday takes place is immaterial at this stage.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you.

You're very welcome.

I hope you get this resolved - be firm, but reasonable when you respond to the solicitor.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have been and her return email to me today is that she is disappointed in me. Is this normal correspondence from solicitors that they make a personal comment
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Should she make comments like I’m combative or disappointed in me
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you

I don't think being antagonistic or critical of the other party in a case is conducive in family cases, but some lawyers seem to think that being aggressive is helping their client - from my point of view it just keeps the parties at loggerheads with each other when they should be concentrating on co-parenting.

Feel free to tell her that you will not respond to any of her unnecessary comments and stick only to the relevant parts of discussion about the child.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Could you send me a transcript of the conversation to my email if at all possible

I have no access to email you - but you can cut and paste the responses into word, or log into your account and access any questions from there.

I'd appreciate if you could kindly take a moment to rate positively as that is how I am paid for assisting you today - thank you!

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Will do

The five stars to rate are at the top of your screen.

All the best to you.

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