December 14, 2020


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.

Different Scenarios

The most common arrangements are:

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:

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  • Very good tips here.
    It definitely can be worked through to make it a positive & happy occasion for everyone, especially the kids


  • Should cause kids as little stress as possible

    • Yes, 100% agree. Its about the kids, not about the parents


  • Very helpful advice here.


  • This would definitely be a hard time for both sides. If both sides are amicable maybe have a get together at the park or the beach and have a Christmas picnic lunch.


  • Some great tips here. Can pass this to my friend.


  • These are some good options. My friend and her ex kept a positive relationship and he would come over for Xmas lunch to spend time with all together; of course this is only possible when the relationship is good, but it was great for the kids


  • So much to think about and make decisions on when there is a separation.


  • It’s challenging for sure especially around the holidays


  • Some good ideas here. It’s best to keep a good relationship between you if possible so you can negotiate what’s best for the kids


  • not easy but it can be worked through


  • some great advices there. Thank you for sharing


  • If you’re on good enough terms, it might be good to arrange some cross over time together – just a hot chocolate and a biscuit, perhaps, but it would be good for the kids.


  • some good tips to think about , families always have to work out a arrangement


  • we have always shared, even when we hate each other, this year is not my year but we swapped last year, we have invited their dad to spend christmas with us because we want my big kids here, sometimes you just have to suck it up


  • Drives me up the wall that seperated parents are adults and can’t just suck it up and work out the best arrangement for their children regardless of what they want.


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