Christmas can be one of the most stressful times of the year for some families. If you throw into the mix the need to agree who will be having the children at Christmas, if you are separated, this can be even more stressful as the last thing you will want to do is argue over who is having the children on Christmas Day, Boxing day etc.
The key is to ensure you have planned ahead. As we will all be aware, some people are putting up their Christmas decorations in November and the Christmas adverts start appearing on television almost as soon as Halloween is over. This is also the time you need to start thinking about who is going to be having the children over Christmas, and at what times, locations etc.
The above is also true of Easter and the summer holidays.
If you are separated you can apply to the Court for a Child Arrangements Order. If you are amicable, and an agreement can be reached between yourself and your former partner, then we could simply draft a Consent Order for the Court to approve. This will allow peace of mind and clarity as to with whom, and where the children will be over the festive period and allow you to plan ahead. As the famous song goes, “it’s the most wonderful time of the year” and so we should ensure that this time of year can be enjoyed by all.
If you are unfortunately not in the position whereby you and your former partner are on the best of terms, then you can still apply for a Child Arrangements Order, but this will have to be done much earlier. This will allow the Court time to review the matter and make their decision accordingly. The primary concern of the Court however, will always be the needs of the children.
However, the main thing to remember in this scenario is that, even if you do not get along with your ex-partner, you should remain positive in front of the children as this will already be a trying time for them as it could well be something they have not experienced before.
It is always preferable to have some agreement in place between the parties, as this will make it more civilised for all parties concerned and of course, allow the children to enjoy the time of year which they should enjoy the most.
What to do:-
If you, or anyone you know, is struggling with the above, please ask them to contact Jarmans Solicitors and speak to our experienced family law team 01795 472291. At this stage it is not too late for this to be resolved, however, always think ahead and try to ensure this doesn’t happen again next year.
Merry Christmas from Jarmans