Christmas comes but once a year. Traditionally a time for families and a magical time for children. But what if the family is no longer together? What if one or both parent has a new partner? What of grandparents and other relatives?
Sadly, the Courts quickly fill up in December with couples who might previously reached an accord over child arrangements, but had forgotten to deal with this often emotional issue. To avoid unnecessary conflict and stress during the festive season, try to get the child contact arrangements organised in plenty of time.
- An arrangement where each parent has the children over Christmas Eve through Christmas Day on alternating years. This can work best with slightly older children
- The Children wake up on Christmas Day at the home of the parent with Residence (where they usually sleep) and move on to the other parent later on Christmas Day. This approach is favoured by some Judges in preference to alternating.
- Some combination of the two, where the children alternate where they wake up, but move on during Christmas Day.
- Think about extended family and synchronising arrangements so the Children can have a good family day.
- Avoid involving Children in any dispute over contact at Christmas or any other time. Children usually try to please both parents and can be hurt by feeling torn between the two.
We know from experience that the Christmas holidays can often be the catalyst for a break up to begin with, making those first few after a split particularly trying. That is why forward planning and good communication are essential. If arrangements can’t be agreed amicably, we are here to help as a last resort. But we hope you and your children can arrange a happy and restful Christmas and New Year.