Christmas is supposed to be a time of joy, happiness and where families come together. However, if you are newly separated and have children to contend with then this can prove difficult to keep the Christmas cheer when navigating this new way of living.
Please note there is no right or wrong way to handle contact arrangements over Christmas time as every situation is different and depends on each persons needs and wants at such a special time of year. Some parents are happy to forego this time with their children, however, some parents insist on this time being split equally. We stress that everybody is different. It is about working together and acting in the best interests of the children.
If you have already obtained a Child Arrangements Order then it is possible that Christmas would have already been accounted for and arrangements agreed. This is usually done by one parent spending Christmas Day with the child/children and the other parent having contact on Boxing Day, or Christmas Morning/Christmas Afternoon being split, by way of examples.
If you are yet to obtain a Child Arrangements Order, this can be agreed by Consent and submitted at Court to create a legally binding Order. It is unlikely that this will be approved if submitted at the time of writing (November 2023) as this is so close to Christmas and unless a Child Arrangements Application is submitted on an urgent basis then it is likely a First Hearing will take a couple of months to be listed, however, this can assist in future Christmas’ to come.
Alternatively, you can instruct a legal representative to write to your ex-partner and agree contact arrangements in the meantime. Sometimes this is beneficial as it can remove the emotion from the situation and enable a mutually convenient agreement to be reached. This can equally provide both parents with their wishes, and consideration can be given to the needs and wants of the child/children, if applicable.
Should you need any assistance with the above, please do not hesitate to contact Kendra McLeod-Henderson-Young on 01795 472 291 to discuss your options and how we can assist you with these.
We here at Jarmans wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!