Page 76 - Phonebox Magazine December 2016
P. 76

Top tips for separated couples on arranging time with children over Christmas
Christmas is a time for families to come together, however for families who have separated it can be a challenging time. It is always dif cult to decide who should spend time with children and when. In anticipation of the Christmas break here at Slater and Gordon we have already seen an increase in the number of enquiries about how to divide time over Christmas.
Here are some top tips to help separated couples manage the festive period:
● Compromise
Separated couples must be prepared to compromise. Christmas is a magical time when your children should be at the heart of any plans. Think about how they would like to spend their Christmas day.
● Do not leave plans to the last minute
Plan your arrangements as early as possible. If there are then any disagreements there will be time to discuss these amicably and potentially look into other options. This could include attending mediation, seeking advice from a family lawyer or ultimately if an agreement really cannot be reached an application to the court can be made.
● Consider sharing the day
Some separating parents agree to split Christmas day. This tends to work best when parents live close together. If you do not live nearby then splitting Christmas day may not be in your children’s best interests and it is often considered unfair to expect children to have to travel on Christmas day.
● Think about alternating years
If just one parent is going to spend Christmas day with the children, then this should be alternated the next year with the other parent so both parents have an opportunity to enjoy Christmas day with the children in alternate years.
● Have two Christmases
If you are not the parent who is having the children this Christmas then try and recreate Christmas day on another day such as Boxing day so the children have the bene t of two Christmases.
● Enjoy your time with the children
Most importantly try and relax and enjoy the time you have with the
children on whatever day is it.
● Take time to re ect
After the Christmas period is over it is important to re ect on what has and has not worked for the children. Parents should then discuss this and works together to ensure any of the same issues are not encountered again.
● If you cannot reach agreement seek legal advice
If you feel you have exhausted all other options and need to make an application to the court, then this application should be made as soon as possible. The courts are very busy and December is one of the busiest months for the courts. Depending on how busy your local court is applications generally take anything from one to four months to be heard. Before making an application seek specialist advice from a family lawyer.
If you would like specialist advice from a family lawyer then please contact Caroline Watson at Slater and Gordon
T - 01908 926010
W -
E -
76 Phonebox Magazine | December 2016

   74   75   76   77   78