Christmas is nearly upon us and many families have already started preparing. It is an extremely special time of year for children; full of magic and wonder. It can also be a very difficult time for separated or divorced parents who each want to enjoy this special time with their young ones.
Like any arrangements for children, there are no legal rules which specify how a child’s time should be spent over the Christmas period. The only legal principle which applies to all arrangements for children is that it is generally in their best interests to have a relationship with both parents.
Special times such as Christmas and Birthdays can be problematic – after all, there is only Christmas eve where mince pies are put out for Santa and Rudolf and only one Christmas morning when presents are excitedly torn open.
All parents undoubtedly agree that, to children, Christmas is a wonderful and exciting time. They deserve to have a joyous time free from any tension or distress. However, due to the importance of Christmas to most families, parents can sometimes find themselves in a disagreement about what the arrangements should be.
Here are some tips which might help you get through the festive season:
There is no right or wrong answer to how the arrangements work – a good idea is to alternate the arrangements year to year. You can consider the following:
If you are struggling to reach an agreement, then consult us. We can advise you on your options and suggest ideas which may work. It is often useful to have a more objective perspective from a family law specialist. We can refer you to a family mediator who will act as a neutral go between to try and help you reach an agreement quickly and cost effectively. As a last resort we can assist you with applications to the court if all other methods of reaching an agreement have failed.
Please get in touch with our Family Law Team if you would benefit from our expertise.This article was written by Louise Eady, Senior Associate in the Family Law Team at Pinney Talfourd LLP Solicitors. The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. Specific legal advice should be taken on each individual matter. This article is based on the law as of November 2019.