Child arrangements during Christmas can be tricky, it’s a magical time for children but when parents are in the midst of a separation or divorce, and this can often be a particularly emotional or lonely time of year for all concerned. In order to ease the transition for children at this difficult time, parents are encouraged to find ways to ensure children are able to spend quality time at Christmas with both parents and their families, either separately or, in certain cases where both parents agree, with both parents together.
Despite the breakdown in their relationship both parents too owe it to themselves to work together to experience the joy of seeing their children’s faces light up when they open the presents they have received from Santa at Christmas. Unless there are issues of domestic violence or other compelling reasons, children should not be deprived of seeing each parent at this joyous time of the year and enjoying the excitement of the festive season with their parents. Arranging child arrangements during Christmas is important to think of leading up to the holidays.
Situations such as where a father is only permitted by the mother to deliver the children’s sack of presents and he is deprived of seeing his children or indeed ensuring that they will ever receive the presents, should be avoided where possible. Similarly, where the resident parent books a holiday abroad throughout the Christmas holiday period (and informs the other parent that they will not see their children until their children’s arrangements visit in the New Year) tensions can arise which can quickly escalate at this time of year. Conversely, gestures such as parents purchasing or encouraging children to purchase a present for the other parent (or simply make a Christmas card for the other parent) can ultimately lead to a more harmonious and peaceful Christmas experience for all concerned.
When parents separate they should agree a children’s arrangements schedule to include all of the holiday periods throughout the year, to include, Easter holidays, summer holidays, Christmas holidays, New Years Eve, New Year’s Day and half term holidays as well as children’s arrangements generally.
We set out below some examples of child arrangements during Christmas:-
- Year 1: The children stay Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with their mother and stay Boxing Day and the following Day with their father. Year 2: The children stay Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with their father and stay Boxing Day and the following day with their mother. Thereafter this arrangement to continue to alternate each year.
- The children spend Christmas Day with both parents at the family home and the children spend Boxing Day with their mother during Year 1 and Boxing Day with their father during Year 2. This arrangement to continue on alternative Boxing Days.
- Year 1: The children stay with their mother on Christmas Day and Boxing Day and they stay with their father on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Year 2: The children stay with their father on Christmas Day and Boxing Day and stay with their mother on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. This arrangement to continue on alternative years.
In the event that children’s arrangements cannot be agreed by the parents (or through mediation or collaborative law) then parents should consult a solicitor and make an application to court; whose main goal will be the welfare of the children.
Our experienced team at Aston Bond are always available to assist you in respect of children issues.