The lead-up to the festive season is an exciting time for children, filled with fun, food, and celebrations. However, for parents who are separated, the run-up can be a difficult time, particularly if the arrangements for the children have not been agreed.
Here are our top tips for separated parents to help navigate this period.
- Focus on what is best for the children.
Whilst parents may have differing views on what the children should and should not be doing, the priority should be the children’s wellbeing and to promote a positive and fun experience for them between their two homes.
- Try to be mindful and respectful of the other parent.
Maintaining open and respectful communication with the other parent is key. Any discussions about the arrangements should not be had in front of the children, and the plans should not be shared with them until they are agreed.
Try to respect the other parent’s traditions and, if possible, try to co-ordinate (or even combine) gift-giving and festive activities to ensure variety and to avoid disappointment.
- Be organised and plan ahead.
In so far as possible, try to work together to make plans for any celebrations. The sooner you communicate any plans with one another the better, allowing sufficient time to consider the other parent’s proposals and reach a consensus. This is particularly important if you are hoping to take the children abroad.
- Be open-minded and ready to compromise
There is no ‘one size fits all’ arrangement, and you should consider what is likely to be best for your family. Some families prefer to alternate special days each year, while others may prefer to split the day. There is no right or wrong answer, and logistics will play a part in how the children’s time is divided between their parents. It will be virtually impossible to reach any form of agreement without a degree of compromise on the part of everyone involved.
- Keep to the agreement
It is easy to become absorbed in the celebrations but do keep to the agreement you have reached. Try to be on time when you hand the children over to the other parent and remain positive for their benefit.
If you cannot agree, then you may want to get advice from an experienced family practitioner.
Talk to us
We are dedicated to resolving matters as amicably as possible and every solicitor in our family team are members of Resolution which means we have a duty to reduce conflict wherever possible.