The separated family at Christmas

Christmas can be a particularly difficult time for separated parents and their children.  Parents who no longer live with their children will want to ensure that if they cannot see them on Christmas day, then alternative arrangements can be made to spend time with them over the holiday period.

Where possible, we advise our clients to try and discuss the arrangements over Christmas directly with their ex-partners or spouses.  As we all know, it can be incredibly hectic in the run-up to Christmas and therefore, it is best advised to broach these discussions as early as possible.

If you are having difficulty in reaching an agreement with your ex-partner or spouse, you may wish to consider attending mediation together.  The mediator, who must remain neutral throughout the process, shall manage your discussions and help guide you even-handedly towards facilitating an agreement about the arrangements at Christmas.  In the event that mediation is not appropriate in your circumstances or your ex-partner or spouse does not wish to attend, you could instruct solicitors to engage in discussions on your behalf.  Solicitors will enter into correspondence with your ex-partner or spouse setting out your proposals for spending time with your children over Christmas in the hope that productive discussions can take place with a view to reaching a compromise.  As a last resort, solicitors can also advise and represent you in relation to making an emergency application to court for a Child Arrangements Order to spend time with your children over Christmas.

It is important to note that your local court is likely to be closed over part of the Christmas holiday and available appointments for emergency applications of this nature do get booked quickly, particularly in December.  On that basis, it is imperative to ensure that you obtain legal advice as soon as possible in relation to exploring the right option to help ensure that you see your children over the Christmas holiday.

If you would like to discuss any options set out in this article with a member of our team, please contact 01444 472700 or email to arrange an initial consultation.

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