The Most Magical Time of the Year …. unless you’re going through family break up

The Most Magical Time of the Year …. unless you’re going through family break up
14 Dec 2018

Christmas can be the most magical time of year but what if you’re a family going through a break up, with parents living separately? What then?

For divorced or separated parents, Christmas can be an ordeal fraught with anxiety, stress, and loneliness. Something to be endured rather than enjoyed. For children, they, too, can be feeling anxious and confused and worried how they are going to be able to see both parents and extended family members at this special time of year.

There are options such as sharing Christmas Day – one parent has the children in the morning; the other parent has the children for the afternoon and evening. Sharing the holiday – one parent has the children for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, the other has them for Christmas Night and Boxing Day – and can do the whole Christmas morning again, if they wish. Santa really won’t mind making a second trip! Or alternating the arrangements so that the children get to experience all aspects of Christmas with each parent every other year. Of course, the practicalities of any of these ‘arrangements’ are dependent on factors such as geographical location and work or other commitments.

We thought it might be useful to give some tips to help ensure that Christmas is a time of ‘peace and goodwill’:

  • Stick to the plan! Once you’ve agreed arrangements, don’t then start trying to change them.
  • Once you’ve come to an agreement, let the children know what’s happening. Explain it clearly and be positive about the arrangements and answer any questions they may have.
  • Make sure your respective family and friends know what the arrangements are. You can’t please everyone. The most important thing is to do what is best for the children.
  • Don’t try to compete with your ex-partner on presents or other treats. Far more important, is spending quality, stress-free time with each of you.
  • It’s Christmas! However tempting it may be to raise other issues with your ex, don’t. Whatever it is, it can wait ‘til the new year.

If you’re still finding it difficult to agree suitable plans with your ex-partner, our fully qualified and empathetic Mediation team can help you. We can offer the opportunity for a civilised conversation with information and options. We can help you come to a solution that, whilst it can never be perfect, is acceptable and fair to both parental parties and, most importantly, gives reassurance to the children. Just contact our Family Law Team. They will enable you to look forward to a more harmonious new year.