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Getting Contact Arrangements Settled Can Help Deliver A Peaceful Christmas

View profile for Angela Killa
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My ex-partner and I split this year and I don't want our young daughter to get caught up in disputes about who has her over Christmas. How should we approach this?

Families are facing a different kind of Christmas this year, with many people isolating or changing their plans, to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic. No doubt many people will be making extra phone, skype and Zoom calls, in order to keep in touch with loved ones. It is important that separated families get their contact arrangements for the Christmas period settled as early as they can, so children know what to expect as the holiday season approaches.

You are wise to think ahead regarding your arrangements for the holiday season. Christmas can put extra stress upon all families, whether they are traditional family units, blended families, or separated families where there is contact with former partners.

If you have a complex family, making Christmas work for everyone takes compromise on all sides. As with all matters concerning children, it is always best for you, as parents, to try to agree in advance what the arrangements will be over Christmas. This will help give your daughter a feeling of security and it will help everyone settle their plans in good time.

It is likely that that your daughter will want to spend time with both you and her other parent over Christmas. If you and your former partner live close to each other, consider sharing the day so your child can have time with you both on Christmas Day. Or, you might agree for her to be with you on Christmas Eve and with your former partner on Christmas Day. Why not create your own family tradition, by enjoying two Christmases – one on Christmas Day and one on Boxing Day?

If you aren't able to agree upon arrangements, consider meeting with your chosen solicitor who can refer you to an independent mediator. They may be able to help you find a resolution everyone can live with. If mediation doesn’t work, or if you have left it too late to go down this route, you might have to make an application to the Court. The Court will consider all your circumstances before making a decision based on what is in the child’s best interests and, if your daughter is mature enough, her wishes may be taken into consideration too. As with the arrangements during the rest of the year, current Welsh Government restrictions relating to Covid-19 do not prevent children from moving between their parents’ households in order to spend time with each parent.

Peidiwch oedi cyn ceisio datrys y broblem yma, does dim amser i wastraffu. Os oes gennych unrhyw faterion teuluol, rydym yma i’ch cynorthwyo.

For more information, please contact Angela on: 01267 248893 or by email at: angela.killa@jcpsolicitors.co.uk.

The question posed is based upon a hypothetical situation.

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