McHale & Co. Solicitors Blog

Christmas Contact

It only seems like yesterday that we were putting the tree and decorations away and starting our New Year diets but all of a sudden it’s here again!  That time of the year when we are forced to enjoy ourselves and spend time with our families - whether we like it or not!

Whilst the majority of us relish this time of year there are, unfortunately, many families whereby Christmas brings more heartache and upset.  It is but one day a year but it is certainly the one day that causes more stress and anxiety than any other time despite the fact that we are supposed to be enjoying ourselves

The main reason for this is that the people involved are separated as parents and, therefore, arrangements have to be made as to where the children spend Christmas, who with and for how long.

Over the years I have had numerous cases in court in the weeks leading up to Christmas dealing specifically with this issue where, unfortunately, parents can’t agree.

So what is the right approach to Christmas and ensuring that it is fair for everyone concerned, especially the children?

Well, every case and every family is different but the Court’s approach is certainly that the children should spend time with both parents, if at all possible.  This can be done in different ways, for example

  1. The children can spend Christmas Eve and Christmas morning with one parent and then the rest of the day with the other, alternating this each year or
  2. They can spend all Christmas Day with one parent and then spend Boxing Day with the other parent.

There is no hard and fast rule.  I personally prefer the second option as it allows everyone to relax and gives the children the opportunity to have two Christmas Days.  However, there are families where both parents wish to have the children and, therefore, it’s appropriate for the children to share their time.

What is important, though, is that parents don’t fall out over it.  If they need help resolving this issue then mediators can assist in helping them reach an amicable agreement.  If it can’t be agreed then, ultimately, the court will have to decide but is this really the right course of action for the supposedly most enjoyable day of the year?

Hopefully you won’t need assistance agreeing your families arrangements for Christmas but if you do, or need assistance with any other aspect of family law, please do not hesitate to contact me on 0161 928 3848.

Categories: Divorce & Family Law

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