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Child arrangements at Christmas – how should you navigate it?

Christmas can be a difficult time for many, despite being a major holiday each year.


For divorced or separated parents, Christmas can be complicated and stressful as you organise arrangements for your children – who will have them overnight for Christmas morning?


Will you split Christmas day in half?


Will your children celebrate the holiday twice?


Dealing with disagreements over Christmas


Consider what you and the other parent will agree to and what is realistic rather than asking to have your child for the entire holiday or being set on your own plan for the arrangement.


Also bear in mind, your existing child custody and visitation arrangements. Despite this being an important time of the year for some, these still need to be followed, unless you can agree otherwise.


Don’t overcomplicate things 


For children, moving between parents during a busy and exciting time can become overwhelming so it is important to make the arrangements as simple as possible.


It is likely that you will face pressures beyond just your child and their other parent, as grandparents and other relatives seek time with your child.


Whatever challenges you face, keep the needs of your child at the centre of your arrangements.


Decide on arrangements in advance


Last-minute plans will affect your children more than it will affect you, so it is important to plan the holiday arrangement early so you can explain to your children (if they are old enough) what the plan is.


If a disagreement does occur, you should have plenty of time to work through it whether that is through mediation or a back-and-forth between you and the other parent.


Think about your child’s perspective


Ultimately, the main factor in your decision should be what works best for your child and what will allow them to enjoy the holiday as much as possible.


Whether that means coming to an eventual compromise on the arrangements, or getting a mediator involved, anything that will allow you to avoid going to court is highly recommended.


For more advice on this and other family-related matters, contact us.

Mander Hadley

Mander Hadley Solicitors is not only a long established firm, but is vibrant and successful, with a forward thinking approach.