How to Navigate Christmas: tips for separated parents
Posted on 22nd December 2021
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While the festive period is meant to be one filled with joy and happiness, there is no denying that for many separated families, it can be difficult. Our family law solicitors know all too well that in the weeks leading up to the big day, feuds between parents can often break out over the Christmas arrangements for the children.
Below, our family law solicitors run through our top tips that we have learnt over the years on how to ensure that Christmas runs smoothly, and how to ensure that the children can enjoy the magic of the period without any family disputes.
Try to plan ahead and communicate with the other parent openly-
Simply ignoring the fact that Christmas is around the corner, and failing to make necessary arrangements in time for how the children will spend the festive period is not good for anybody. You can’t simply assume that plans will fall into place, or that you will be able to spend the period with the kids as you would like.
It is understandable that both parents will want a lot of time with the children over Christmas, and because of this, it is always best to begin planning ahead of time, and have a plan in place for how the time will be split before the big day. Our family law solicitors understand that direct communication with your ex-partner might not be easy, but it is always the best option to bite the bullet and reach out to try and amicably come to an arrangement that is best for the children. If you are not comfortable verbally communicating with your ex-spouse, then sending over an email or text message proposing coming to an agreement is a good idea.
Do I have a legal right to see my children on Christmas?
It is widely accepted by family law solicitors that the division of time for Christmas and other holidays can be a big deal to all parents. If both parents would usually celebrate the occasion with the children, then the Court will often order that the period be shared, with the arrangements alternating each year.
For example, a popular scenario that our family law solicitors see is where one parent has the children from midday on Christmas Eve until midday on Christmas Day, and the other parent has the children from midday on Christmas Day until midday on Boxing Day, with the arrangement swapping each year. This way of splitting the time allows both parents to spend quality time with the children throughout the period.
However, if poor communication or geographical distance means that this method of shared special occasions is not an option, then our family law solicitors would suggest that the children alternate the occasion each year between each parent.
Unfortunately, there are no set rules when it comes to families or indeed family law and holiday periods. Each case falls upon its own individual circumstances, and each family scenario is different.
What happens if we can’t agree contact at Christmas arrangements for the kids?
If you have had trouble arranging this Christmas period, and feel that you have not been treated fairly, or the communication has not gone well, then you should seek legal advice from our specialist family law solicitors, here.
If you have attempted to work it out through family mediation, or this is not an option for your family situation, then our specialist family law solicitors are here to help. Our team knows that there are other options, and that a child arrangement order is possible if there are no other options.
If you are considering applying to the court for a child arrangements order, for future Christmas plans or agreements, then do not hesitate to reach out to our specialist family law solicitors here at MG Legal, and hear back from a specialist solicitor within one working hour. Contact us online here, or give us a call on 01524 581306 .
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