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This article was published on December 5th, 2022
With Christmas around the corner, many of us are thinking about coming together with our families to enjoy the festivities. And whilst that is the reality for some, for parents that are separated, Christmas can be a time of sorrow and conflict.
Naturally, when it comes to Christmas, every parent wants to spend time with their child(ren) on Christmas day, but the reality is that if you’re separated, this isn’t always possible. This is why we have put together this blog, to offer advice to separated parents from our expert family solicitors on resolving issues surrounding Christmas day, and how to divide the remainder of the holiday period.
Communication is key. Whatever method works for you, as long as you’re talking, that is what matters. Even if you cannot communicate face to face, you can communicate via email or over the phone. If email is the easiest way to discuss plans for Christmas, make sure to re-read the email before sending it. This will help you spot mistakes and also ensure that what you have written cannot be misinterpreted, avoiding further conflict.
As separated parents, you should start your discussions regarding the Christmas period as early as possible. Whilst it may seem easier to bury your head in the sand, discussing plans in advance will help avoid too much disappointment. You should consider the views of the other parent and try to compromise to achieve the best outcome for both parties and most importantly, the child(ren).
One of the best pieces of advice we can offer separated parents is to remember to focus on what is best for the child(ren). Consider what the impact of spending Christmas between two houses would be for them. For example, if there is a long distance to travel between homes, would they be able to fully enjoy the day? If not, you will need to agree on where they spend Christmas day.
As separated parents, you’re going to have to compromise. Your child(ren) could spend Christmas day at one home and Boxing day at the other parent’s home, alternating year on year. Or perhaps a video call would be a good compromise for the non-resident parent. Whilst compromising may mean that Christmas is likely to look different to previous years, in time, you will make new traditions that suit your new situation.
It is important to remember that Christmas is only one day and the most important thing to focus on, is what best suits the child(ren). If you can work together and agree on arrangements, it will send a positive message to them.
However, we understand that sometimes it can be difficult to agree, particularly if you do not have an amicable relationship with your ex-partner. If this is the case for you, the family team at Thorneycroft Solicitors can provide you with clear advice as well as discuss the appropriate steps to take to work towards resolving your issues. To speak to a member of our experienced team, please get in touch by calling 0800 1979345 or filling out our simple enquiry form.