As the festive season approaches, we start to turn our minds to the arrangements for Christmas Day.
I think most of us agree that Christmas provides an opportunity for families to spend time together and for children of separated parents, this could mean that there are two families that want to ensure the children are with them. Agreeing the arrangements for the children over Christmas therefore can be a stressful time.
It is always preferable to discuss and attempt to agree the arrangements well in advance and not leave it until you are prompted by the appearance of the Christmas decorations in the shops. Have a plan in place that centres on the children and what works best for them. Some parents, who live close to each other, agree that the children can split their Christmas Day and spend time with each of them. Others agree that the children spend all of Christmas Day with one parent and Boxing Day with the other, with those arrangements then alternated the following year.
There is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to the arrangements for the children and what works for one family may not work for another. What is important is that there is communication between the parents and that they primarily focus on the children. The children should never be asked to choose who they want to spend Christmas with. This places an impossible burden on them as they want to please both parents and not hurt Mum or Dad.
It is always tempting to ‘spoil’ the children at Christmas, but it is important not to compete with each other over presents. Share the children’s letters to Santa or Christmas ‘wish lists’ and wherever possible, agree to alternate the responsibility for buying the ‘top’ present each year.
If it proves difficult for the parents to communicate with each other, Trethowans’ Family Team boast lawyers and mediators who can assist in working out an agreed plan that puts your children first. Contact us today on 0800 2800 421. We have law offices in Salisbury, Southampton, Bournemouth, Poole and Winchester to meet your requirements.