Preparing for Christmas with your children after you separate

by Kidd Rapinet on October 13, 2021
Christmas time - little girl with christmas lights

Whilst Christmas can be an important time for family, it can also create stress, especially for separated parents who find it difficult to agree the child contact arrangements over the festive period.

The first priority is to ensure that the Christmas childcare arrangements are considered early to avoid arguments and upsets later. There are several arrangements that might work for a family, either alternating where the children spend Christmas day, year on year with either parent, or splitting the day so that the children see each parent for part of the Christmas day. Obviously, this will only work if you live close to one another. By making the arrangements between yourselves, you can ensure that they are suitable for your children and manageable for you both.

Communication between separated parents can be difficult and so if you find it difficult to talk to your former partner, then consider asking another family member or friend to be present during the discussions.

It is very important that you put the children first, not only in respect of what contact arrangements may suit them best during the festive break, but also in terms of coordinating your Christmas presents. Communication and compromise will best work for the children.

If your children are old enough they may have their own views on how they want to spend their Christmas holidays. It is important to listen to your children and to take on board their wishes, however, they must also know if these are not realistic or possible.

It might also be best to have any such arrangements set out in writing, so as to avoid any confusion or misunderstanding, closer to the Christmas break.

Given that in the event of a disagreement about contact arrangements over Christmas, you may be unable to secure a Court date in time, it may also be worth considering the other options to this. You could always see a mediator to discuss the childcare arrangements over the Christmas period, or you could attend arbitration. Mediation is where you will meet with an impartial and neutral mediator who is often a family lawyer, and he/she will facilitate an agreement between you both. Alternatively, if you want someone to make a decision for you, an arbitrator who is a solicitor, barrister or retired Judge, will hear each of your proposals for the childcare arrangements over Christmas and will make a definitive decision upon these. Either way, the mediation and arbitration are likely to deliver an outcome, be it agreed or imposed upon you, this side of Christmas.

This article was brought to you by Kidd Rapinet’s family solicitors. You can book an appointment with any of the family lawyers across our other offices in Aylesbury, Canary Wharf, Farnham, High Wycombe, Maidenhead or Slough, using the form provided.  Please use the links provided to find more information on divorce or separation, child arrangements and other areas of family law.

These materials and content have been prepared for the benefit of their viewers/readers. They are intended for marketing purposes only and are of a general nature and do not constitute legal advice applicable to any particular facts or circumstances. Kidd Rapinet LLP and/or the author(s) accept no duty of care, responsibility or liability for any loss or damage which you or any third party may suffer as a result of any reliance or use by you or them of these marketing materials and content, except to the extent it is not legally possible to exclude such liability. If you require legal advice on your own situation, please contact us so we can discuss how we may assist.

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