Hints to help you share time with your kids this Christmas
Christmas Holidays are a time when many people have concerns about arranging contact (or, “time with”) their children and the main resident 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, 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 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 separated 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 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 finding out from our clients if their family is one that places great store on Christmas morning, or Christmas lunch or some other family celebration on Christmas afternoon.
Generally, one finds that during the marriage, the family has spent either the morning or the afternoon of Christmas Day with the Paternal Grandparents and the other part of the day with the Maternal Grandparents.
Generally, contact (or “time with”) arrangements then would follow this pattern so that the Mother, for instance, would have the children for Christmas morning to enable the children to open the presents but they would go to their Father’s for Christmas Lunch at, say, 1:00pm.
As long as nobody gets involved in any rows, you will find that children adapt very readily to the idea of double Christmas presents and double dinners!
I wish everybody a safe and happy Christmas and look forward to providing you with more advice and information in the New Year. Regards, Lynette
P.S. Journey Family Lawyers is open all over Christmas except the Public Holidays and Christmas Eve to help answer your queries.