Child Contact at Christmas

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year” Christmas can be full of festivities but inevitably tensions can rise. For those experiencing a relationship breakdown it can be a particularly stressful time, especially when it comes to agreeing arrangements for children. Where will the children sleep on Christmas Eve, where they will eat their Christmas dinner? With this in mind here are some top tips:-

Planning

Talk about the arrangements as soon as possible. This allows plenty of time to seek support if agreement is not reached; this could involve a mediator, a solicitor or even the Court if necessary.

Be amicable

Do not discuss the arrangements in front of the children. Ensure that your discussions with each other remain polite.  Children will want to spend time with both their parents without the burden of worrying about you or whether there will be an argument on the doorstep.

Flexibility

There are “12 days of Christmas” and the sole focus of the festivities does not have to be 25th December. Are there any new traditions and activities that you can do with your children in the days before and after Christmas Day which provide you with quality time together?

Stick to arrangements

This is good advice all year round. Whilst there will always be times where flexibility is needed it is particularly important over the Christmas period to limit the changes to the agreed arrangements. Christmas can be a time when people have planned lots of activities and family time, therefore what seems like a small change could have a big impact.

Think about your child

This will be a different experience for them too but ultimately they love both parents.  Ask yourself what would help them, perhaps provide your child with a gift for the other parent?

The court is a last resort

Unless there are urgent safety concerns. It is better for parents to reach an agreement rather than hand responsibility to a Judge.  If you cannot reach an agreement you may benefit from legal advice.

The family law team at KBL Solicitors LLP have considerable experience in such situations. We offer sympathetic advice, always ensuring that children’s welfare is the focus.

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