The First Christmas after Divorce is a time when many people have concerns about arranging contact with their children and the divorced parent. For the most part, people are able to work out common sense ways to share both the holidays and the actual Christmas period. Sometimes, however, divorced people get into disputes over these issues.


For people who have Court Orders, and who have already survived one Christmas Holiday period, things will generally fall into place. For others, though, especially if it is the first Christmas since the divorce or separation and there are no Court Orders, it seems difficult to know how best to deal with everybody’s wishes. This article is for people in that situation. The main issue is how to share Christmas Day. Some divorced couples would rather avoid seeing each other on Christmas Day if at all possible. For them, an arrangement that sees the children with one of the separated parents on Christmas Eve and the other parent on Christmas Day seems to be a compromise that has worked for many. These people then alternate the arrangements so that, whoever missed out on having the children on Christmas Day in the preceding year can have them the next year.


Other people simply can’t bear the thought of not seeing their children on Christmas Day and for them somewhat more complicated arrangements need to be made. We usually start by talking to our clients about Christmas traditions in their family of origin. Some families place more importance on Christmas morning. Some have a tradition of everyone being together to have a big Christmas lunch. Other families celebrate on Christmas afternoon or even Christmas Eve. When you work out what is most important to you, then you can make a plan.

The Mother, for instance, might have the children for Christmas morning to enable the children to open the presents. The Father may prefer to have the children for Christmas Lunch. Or, it could be the other way round.


As long as nobody gets involved in any rows, it will be fine for the kids. You will find that children adapt very readily to the idea of double Christmas presents and double dinners! The same goes for birthdays. Try not to get too hung up over these things. We know many divorced couples who have simply chosen another nearby date to celebrate Christmas.

So this Christmas please think before you say or do anything that will ruin the day for the children who have already had to deal with a divorce and who also have to cope with dividing their time between their divorced parents this Christmas.

Happy Christmas from Journey Family Lawyers