Over half of divorced parents with children aged 18 and under do not have a legal agreement about arrangements for the children.
Of those who did have an agreement (known usually in law as a ‘children arrangement’) two in five had left out what to do in the holidays. Often this was overlooked so as to avoid arguments, however, more than four in 10 regret not having an agreement in place for the holidays.
Of those lucky enough to be spending Christmas day with the child this year nine per cent admitted it was because Christmas 2016 falls on a weekend. Meanwhile, over one in five alternate who gets the children at Christmas each year and one in five get to spend the day with their child because the child requested it themselves.
Nearly three in 10 divorced parents with children share the day itself. Splitting Christmas day is one of our 8 Tips For Arranging Time With Children Over Christmas and works well if you live nearby your ex.
If more couples were able to share Christmas day with their children then it would help reduce the number of divorced parents who feel left out of Christmas day because they do not see their child. The results from our research, which surveyed over 1,000 divorced parents with children, found that nearly two in five felt at least somewhat cast aside or left out of the celebrations because they were unable to see their child on Christmas day.
Sadly, divorced dads have spent an average of almost three and a half years without spending Christmas day with their child or children. The average distance divorced dads travelling to see their children this Christmas will cover is 392 miles.
Christmas is meant to be a happy time, especially for young children. We discovered that 97 per cent of divorced parents feel that Christmas day is more enjoyable when their child is around, so perhaps the joy children express at Christmastime is contagious.
Seven in 10 people who sought advice on how to get access to their children at Christmas were successful following the advice.
For advice on children law, call us on freephone 0800 916 9055 or contact us online. Slater and Gordon have the largest team of family lawyers in the country.
Roland Humphreys is a family lawyer at Slater and Gordon in Chester. He has expertise in resolving disputes over children.