Christmas and Children Arrangements

By Heidi Cardoza

With the future still so uncertain and the likelihood of the 'Rule of Six' extending through to the New Year, Christmas 2020 will be different for most of us. 

The festive period can be a stressful time for many families, especially separated parents, but naturally everyone involved should work towards making Christmas enjoyable for the children. The Family Law team at Goughs Solicitors has worked with thousands of clients over the years offering advice and support to achieve just that. 

Put the children first

First and foremost, put the children at the heart of all the plans you make. 

Keep the children informed

Sharing plans with the children means they know where they will be throughout the holiday period and can look forward to spending time with both their parents without anxiety. Knowing there is a plan in place will also help them to feel safe and secure. 

Planning ahead and early for Christmas 

At Goughs, we strongly recommend making plans early to ensure the arrangements for children are agreed and therefore avoiding any last minute disputes. Both parents need to discuss the plans openly and decide how the period will be split. However, we understand that communication with an ex-partner may sometimes be difficult and therefore one may wish to consider the assistance of a family solicitor. 

Assuming there are no serious welfare concerns, it is wise for both parties to start planning for appropriate holiday arrangements as early as possible and to try and reach some form of agreement about dates and times well in advance. There are options for parents which can be agreed ahead of time, such as alternating which parent the children get to spend Christmas Day with each year, or even having ‘two Christmases’ each year. If there is a court order in place, parents should act in accordance with any pre-agreed Child Arrangement Orders.

Struggling to come to an agreement?

If you are struggling to reach an agreement, our expert team of family solicitors can assist you by negotiating with your ex partner or spouse to ensure that the children spend quality time with both parents and, if Covid restrictions allow, their extended families over Christmas.

What to do next?

At Goughs Solicitors, we advise clients on all aspects of private family law and are able to offer a free initial consultation for anyone facing the issues outlined in this article, or separation generally. The solicitors in the team are all members of Resolution and are committed to resolving matters constructively and sensibly.

To find out more about how we can help, please contact the Family & Divorce Team on newstart@goughs.co.uk, 01380 726913, or click here to book your free consultation.