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6 top tips for separated parents over the festive season

View profile for Francesca Cozens
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6 top tips for separated parents over the festive season

Christmas can be a stressful time of year for many people. For separated parents, child arrangements at Christmas can bring additional anxiety.

Family law solicitors across the country are being asked this question – ‘Where should our children spend Christmas?’

Here are some tips to try and ensure that the Christmas holidays run as smoothly as possible:

  1. Talk to each other – you know your children better than anyone else. You both know that your children will want to spend time with both of you and extended family over the festive period. What that looks like for you as a family, is up to you. If one of you spends Christmas Day with the children this year, will this be swapped next year? What about Christmas Eve and Boxing Day?
  2. If you are finding it hard to have this discussion, it may be easier with some professional support. This could be with a mediator or a collaboratively trained lawyer. You will all sit around a table and reach an agreement that works for you as a family.
  3. Plan ahead – as difficult as these discussions can be, they only become harder the closer that Christmas comes. By working together and telling the children together what will happen, they will adjust and often be excited at the prospect of having two Christmases.
  4. Put the children first – What would they want? What is best for them?
  5. Flexibility – what compromises can you both make?
  6. Court is always an option of last resort, but the court is full of applications for Christmas contact in the run-up to the Christmas break. The court will always encourage parents to agree arrangements rather than have one enforced upon them as each family is different. What works for your family may not work for another. You know your family, this is one of the much tougher and often emotive areas of co-parenting.

At Birkett Long, all of our family lawyers are members of Resolution who are an independent organisation who seek to deal with families in a dignified manner, avoiding confrontation and court (where possible).

We offer a free 15 minute telephone consultation. Call Francesca Cozens on 01245 453843 or email regarding any difficulties that you are facing in making arrangements to spend time with your children over the festive season.