Navigating the summer holidays if you’re thinking of separating

Originally published on 17th June 2024 at 3:50 PM
Reading time: 3 mins
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“We’ve decided to separate after the summer holidays.”

As Divorce Specialists, we hear this a lot. If you and your partner have decided to stay together over the summer holidays, you’re not alone. Many parents find the prospect of separating before the summer holidays overwhelming. Navigating activities, organising childcare, and keeping your children preoccupied is no mean feat, and adding a separation on top feels impossible. But this doesn’t mean staying together when you know you will separate is easy either.

In this blog, we explore our tips for parents navigating the summer holidays pre-separation.

Create a plan

If one person thinks the relationship is over, it is. But that doesn’t mean unpeeling your lives from each other is easy, especially when you share children. Our first tip is to create a plan with realistic deadlines. Having a clear plan will help you prepare for when the children are back at school and you officially separate. Use the summer as an opportunity to set joint and individual goals and start conversations about practical elements of your separation.

You can book a one-off joint advice consultation to talk about what goal setting, what the legal process will look like and how to start discussing money and property without creating unnecessary conflict.

Children pick up on things easily, so try to be honest with them if questions crop up. You don’t want the news of your separation to come as a shock, so staying honest and on the same page will help you all adjust. It’s okay to say things like, ‘Mummy and I are talking about how our relationship might look in the future, but we love you very much, and although this might make you feel worried, you don’t need to, because we will always be a family, and nothing will change that. We promise that we will tell you anything you need to know, but for the moment we want you to think about all the fun things we have planned over summer.’

We also offer a service that helps parents agree on how to tell their children about their separation or divorce. You can explore this service here.

Communicate clearly, establish boundaries and maintain respect

Spending time together, as a couple, when you know you will separate can be confusing for you and your children. Creating boundaries is a great way of navigating the summer respectfully. Boundaries can include establishing ways of communicating and interacting with each other over the holidays, as well as who you speak to about your separation and when.

Personal space and practice self-care

Try to create personal space. If you’re sharing a room, put basic rules in place and make sure that you both get time to yourselves and personal space. Agree with your partner on activities you will each do with the children and use the time you're not with them, to practice self-care. This can be small things like journaling how you feel, spending time with friends and family or going for a walk or run.

Start the emotional healing

The emotional journey of separation is not one straight path. People experience it differently. Some may feel denial, anger, or pain. Others may experience depression or even relief. Importantly, you don’t need to go through this alone. There are people and organisations who can help. If you don’t feel like getting professional help, explore the apps, resources, and communities that can support you.

At amicable, we know separation is an emotional journey with legal and financial consequences. This means we have lots of professionals we can refer you to help you with the emotional journey, including; divorce and separation coaches, counsellors and therapists. Getting a head start processing the raw emotions before you officially separate, can help you with the practical elements later on.

You can listen to The Divorce Podcast on your favourite listening platform, which discusses the practical, emotional, and social aspects of separation.

Start the administrative planning

There are three things to do when you separate:

  • The legal journey
  • Arrangements for your children
  • Dividing your money and property

amicable can help with all of these elements. We’ve created our free pre-separation and divorce checklist to help you prepare for the separation journey.


Co-parenting advice

Speak to an amicable Coach for help transitioning from parents to co-parents.

Book a free 15-minute call

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