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Christmas can be a happy time but it can also be a fraught time, particularly when making plans with family.  It can be especially painful and poignant if you are not spending Christmas with your loved ones.

Tips for making arrangements to see your children at Christmas

This can be the situation for families where parents no longer live together.  Arrangements then have to be made for when the children see which parent and for how long.  Here are some top tips to try and assist with making those arrangements:

  1. Try to have a pattern of contact that takes place each year. This prevents you having to keep renegotiating the contact each year.  Most families have an alternating pattern where they swap Christmas Day and Boxing Day.  Some families split Christmas Day down the middle.  New Year is also often alternated.  Indeed it’s probably best to have an arrangement covering the whole year with a clear pattern that covers holidays, birthdays, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and the Christmas period.
  2. Try to make those arrangements early. We perhaps don’t want to think about Christmas until nearer the time but if there are to be negotiations about the arrangements for the children it’s best to start early.  If there are then difficulties with making those arrangements you have time to see a solicitor and if necessary make an application to court for those arrangements to be resolved.
  3. Keep the children in the centre of things. Remember that all arrangements for the children must be in their best interests.  When making the arrangements for Christmas keep in mind what is best for your children at this time.

Finally, whatever your plans for this year, may we wish you all a very merry Christmas.