If this is your first Christmas post-separation, here are a few tips to ensure the holiday remains festive for you and your family.
Christmas pre-separation – it’s synonymous with excitement, happiness, and probably Santa. Christmas post-separation, brings a whole new category of synonyms. They don’t have to be negative, but without the right planning and discussions, it can end up being a time full of turmoil.
There are multiple avenues to consider when discussing arrangements with your former partner for time with the children on Christmas Day.
The most common arrangements are:
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A time-sharing arrangement. An example would be the children spend 9:00am on Christmas Eve to 12:00pm on Christmas Day with one parent and 12:00pm on Christmas Day to 5:00pm on Boxing Day with the other parent; or
An alternate year arrangement. An example would be that the children spend the entirety of Christmas Day with one parent in any year ending in an even number and with the other parent in all years ending in an odd number.
Both have their pros and cons. You need to work out what works best for you and for your children.
Things To Think About
- Do you like to go away over Christmas?
- Will either of the above arrangements affect your Christmas traditions?
- Do you live close to your former partner? Is travelling for a changeover on Christmas Day practical?
- Do your children have daily routines/requirements that can’t be skipped on Christmas Day? Will this affect changeover times?
First and foremost, consider how your children will cope with either of the arrangements.
Consider putting a proposal forward in writing to your former partner setting out exactly how the Christmas period could work and ask for your former partner’s opinion and requested changes on your proposal. Negotiate from there.
If you still can’t reach an agreement or if it is better for you to correspond through a lawyer.
Is this your first Christmas post-separation? Share your comments below.
Read more advice from LGM Family Law:
- How to deal with conflict while going through a separation
- Find out what financial rights you have as an expectant mum
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