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Child Arrangements At Christmas

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For many families, Christmas is a happy time of year. But for those who may be newly separated or divorced it can be a time of upset and arguments. There is one big important question “who has the children at Christmas?” 

For young children, Christmas Eve is full of excitement waiting for Father Christmas, and fun filled traditions of getting ready for his arrival and leaving goodies for him and his reindeers beside the Christmas tree. Knowing that these traditions and the excitement for Christmas are for a few short years makes the arrangements over this period something that can be emotional and full of turmoil for many parents.

For this reason, it is common for the time to be shared, and alternated between the parents. In most separated families, time over Christmas is divided equally. For example, the period between Christmas Eve and Boxing Day is divided between the parents, with one party spending Christmas Eve and Christmas morning with the children, and the other spending the afternoon of Christmas Day and Boxing Day with them. The typical arrangement will then alternate each year. This is just one example of how parents can work together.

It’s very important to spend time sorting out an amicable agreement with your co-parent well in advance of the festive period and for both parties to then stick to this agreement.  If this is difficult or you worry arguments will start, this is where a family law solicitor can help.  We can help draw up arrangements not just for the Christmas holidays, but for Easter, the long summer break and other school holidays and special occasions as well as the regular routine term time contact.  This agreement can then be documented in a legally binding Child Arrangements Order, which prevents the need for any further or future arguments over the arrangements as the framework is already set out.

 Some key things to remember when planning the arrangements:

  • Think of your children, what they want and what will make them happy.
  • As children get older ask them what they would like and what they want.
  • Don’t make presents a competition, or try to out-do your co-parent.
  • Stick to arranged collection and drop off times, allow plenty of time for travel if necessary.
  • If you’re upset or unhappy with any arrangements do not show this in front of your children.
  • Try and make your children feel secure and happy in the plans, even if you feel your ex is being unreasonable.
  • Try and keep the lines of communication open with your co-parent, maybe using a Communication Book to keep each other updated and informed.

If you have any queries regarding the above information or if you’re struggling to make child arrangements with your ex-partner contact us on 01246 555610 to arrange a free, no obligation consultation with one of our experienced solicitors.

By Vines Legal on 12 Dec 2019, 16:11 PM

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