Separating couples and the Christmas holidays.

The festive period is fast approaching and is naturally an emotive time for all. For separated parents though, Christmas can be a time of high conflict and stress.

Separated parents can face many difficulties when it comes to sharing the Christmas period. Difficulties can include:

  • Deciding who the child(ren) will spend time with over the Christmas period.
  • Managing the expectations of the child(ren).
  • Communicating with the other parent. This can be particularly difficult if there is a history of conflict and/or abuse.
  • Coming to terms with the possibility that one parent may not have direct contact with the child(ren) over the Christmas period.

To avoid unnecessary conflict with the other parent, it is important to plan ahead with the festive period. If you do not have a court order in place which stipulates the arrangements for your child(ren) it may be helpful to consider reaching an agreement with the other parent and recording the same in writing. Attending mediation may also be helpful as an independent third-party will be present to ensure the discussions are fruitful and the arrangements discussed are in the children’s best interests. If you need advice as to what would be a “reasonable” proposal for the arrangements at Christmas time, please do get in touch with one of our experienced family solicitors.

Alternatively, some separated parents may have a court order in place which outlines the arrangements for Christmas. If you are concerned that the other parent is attempting to change the arrangements and is being hostile when discussing the same, it may be helpful to consider obtaining advice as to the possible next steps open to you. If this sounds like you, please get in touch with one of our experienced family solicitors.