4th December 2019
It is that time of year again when Christmas planning is underway, but for separated parents what should be a joyous and child-focused time often becomes stressful when they cannot agree on shared contact arrangements for their children.
Whether you have recently divorced or have been separated for many years; often emotions run high at this time of year and disputes about Christmas plans with children can cause friction with what might usually be a reasonably civil relationship.
What happens when you cannot agree?
If you are unable to agree on contact arrangements between yourselves then a Fixed Fee meeting with a Family Lawyer for some general advice may arm you with some facts and suggestions on how to find a way forward.
Failing that you may need to see a Family Mediator, an impartial expert, who can help you reach agreement around a table or via ‘shuttle mediation’ in separate rooms where appropriate.
If all else fails then you can apply to the Court for an order to be made. However, the Court will not view resolving Christmas arrangements as an urgent issue, so it is important to plan ahead and not leave things until the last minute.
Some Helpful General Advice:
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Children Come First
It is important to make sure that your children’s happiness and welfare is at the forefront of any decisions made around contact. Arguments and stress can have a detrimental impact on young people who are able to pick up on bad feelings even if you try your best to not discuss matters in front of them.
Christmas arrangements and contact for other special occasions is ideally something that is agreed upon early after separation or divorce. This makes planning much easier and everyone involved knows where they stand. Christmas is an extremely busy time so it is beneficial to all, including extended family members to have clear arrangements in place earlier on in the year.
Finding a way forward
We understand that Christmas is a special time of year and for most people spending quality time with their children as a family is top of their Christmas list.
If you are struggling to make arrangements that both of you can agree on then please speak to one of our Family Law Team today to determine your next steps.
If you need assistance please call our supportive Family Team on 01256 844888 who will be happy to help you. If you are enquiring out of working hours, you are welcome to email our team at firstname.lastname@example.org or speak to our online chat assistant who is available all day, including evenings and weekends.
Other articles you may be interested in:
10 Golden Rules for Protecting your Children During your Separation
Run Down of the Latest Divorce Statistics
Looking for the Best Divorce Lawyer?
The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. The law may have changed since this article was published. Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should take appropriate professional advice upon their own particular circumstances.
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