Following a separation organising how the children’s time should be shared between you and your ex over Christmas can be difficult and stressful. The key is to start a discussion about the issue as soon as you can.
Make Early Christmas Arrangements
There are a number of reasons why you should make arrangements about how your children will spend Xmas as early as possible.
It’s not uncommon for separated mums and dads to disagree on where the children should spend Christmas. It’s a sad part of dealing with divorce. But if you start planning early enough, there should be time to reach a compromise that ensures everyone is happy, most importantly the children.
A compromise might entail sharing the day, taking it in turns one year at a time or perhaps even holding two Christmas Days.
By putting your children first, you’ll be able to make sure they are able to enjoy the magic that Christmas should bring.
If you find yourselves unable to compromise I would recommend speaking with a family lawyer who specialises in children law. They can help by giving you the confidence to continue direct discussions and are often able to suggest solutions that have not been considered.Mediation
Another option is to attend a family mediation consultation to help sort out your children arrangements. A family mediator will help you and your ex find an arrangement that works for you both and with which the children will be comfortable.
Some mediators are specially trained in communicating with children and they can be involved in the process. Their wishes and feelings can be heard by an independent professional if they are of sufficient age and maturity.
It’s important to remember that you should always put your children first.
The Family Court always considers the children’s welfare first when making decisions. Should you be unable to resolve matters through negotiation and you need to apply to the Family Court, a family lawyer can give you guidance that will make the process less stressful.
Another thing to consider is Xmas presents. Who should buy what? If you are able to plan together then it will avoid duplication of presents and getting into a competition where you are trying to outdo each other.
Competing for your child’s affection by giving the grandest Christmas present is counter-productive. The harm it does in the long term could outweigh the joy it gives in the short term.
Slater and Gordon have the largest team of family lawyers in the country. For expert legal advice contact us online or call us on freephone 0800 916 9055.