Father’s Day is celebrated on the 3rd Sunday of June each year in the UK and in America, this year falling on Sunday 16th June. It is an opportunity to celebrate dads and all that they do for their families, usually with some novelty socks and chocolate thrown in for good measure.


However, each year thousands of dads miss out on spending time with their children on Father’s Day due to ongoing conflicts with the mother of their child.


For those going through a divorce or separation, special occasions such as Father’s Day can be tricky to navigate. When parents are conflicted or the communication has broken down events can cause further arguments which can have a negative impact on the children involved.


Tips For Separated Parents


Whether your break up is recent or not, special occasions such as birthdays, Christmas, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day can spring up issues if both parents do not agree on plans.


Our top tips to help you and your children make the most of special days:


  • Plan Ahead. Agreeing on who will have the children on certain days in good time will help in the long run. It is good practice to draw up a schedule each New Year that sets out contact on specific days in addition to your usual day-to-day arrangements.


  • Play Fair. It is only fair to alternate days or be mindful when making requests to have children for special occasions. If they fall during the other parent’s time then you should really ask permission before making any plans and be prepared for the request to be turned down if it isn’t practical.


  • Put the Children First. Always consider what is in your child’s best interest, not what is convenient to you. Courts would argue that it is in children’s best interests to see their parents on occasions such as Father’s Day or Mother’s Day, however, only if suitable in your own specific circumstances.


  • Make Alternative Arrangements. Who says Father’s Day must be celebrated on Sunday 16th June? If work, distance or conflict becomes an issue, don’t miss out and arrange your own special day with the children to mark the occasion. Whether it is a week late, a week early, or a special treat during a mid-week visit – don’t put too much pressure on the date itself.


  • Mums: Help Do Your Bit. Regardless of your relationship with their dad, supporting your child’s relationship with their dad is one of the key loving acts of being a successful co-parent. If it is not possible for your children to physically see their father, it would be a nice gesture to arrange a phone call, FaceTime or Skype call instead.

Having Trouble Seeing Your Children?


If you are in doubt that you will be allowed time with your son or daughter to celebrate Father’s Day it may be a good idea to seek legal advice so that you can start to re-build some regular contact.


  • Know your rights. A fixed fee appointment with a specialist Family Solicitor can give you up to an hour and a half of advice and can be used as a sounding board to understand your rights, responsibilities and where you stand in certain situations involving your children, property and finances.


  • Talk it Through. Mediation can help parents to talk through issues in a safe, controlled environment and you can come away with a plan of action that you have both agreed to stick to. It may sound daunting but it is a constructive way to talk through issues, explore solutions that you may not have considered and keep your personal family business away from the court room.


  • Make a Plan. Parenting Plans can be downloaded here and are a good starting point for exes to starting communicating in a pro-active way. They will outline all the decisions that need to be made by both parents and help you formulate a plan for regular contact.


  • Take Court Action. In some situations talking through your conflicts does not work and if this is the case then you can apply for a child contact order through the courts. It is advised to take legal advice before and during this process so that you come away with the best result for you and your family. A court order will have consequences if broken by the other parent and may stop contact being used as a weapon in arguments.


If you need further support in seeing your children or have decided that this Father’s Day is a good opportunity to iron out your differences and firm up a contact plan with your ex-partner then please get in touch with our understanding Family Law Team today.


Call us on 01256 844888 for a confidential chat and to start the ball rolling. Alternatively you can email us on enquiries@lambbrooks.com or interact with our online Live Chat service.


Our specialist Family Lawyers are here to support you and act in the best interests of you and your family. There are numerous different methods to resolve disputes and we are happy to explore the best options for you.




The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice.  The law may have changed since this article was published.   Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should take appropriate professional advice upon their own particular circumstances.