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Christmas is a time full of fun and festivities, but we all know what added pressure this time of year brings. Christmas plans, presents, not to mention parties. And as a newly divorced or separated couple with children, this can bring an added sleigh full of stress.
No matter what the circumstances, it’s important to know that help is at hand, whether that be family, friends or an experienced law firm that can support you should you need it.

To help make things harmonious for everyone, we’ve included our top tips below:

Plan in advance

We recommend that all plans for Christmas are made and communicated as early as possible, so everyone involved knows what’s happening. Not only will it allow time for the plans to be absorbed, but it will also allow any mediation to take place if you struggle to agree. Taking this decision to court should absolutely be your last resort, as it’s more than likely not everyone will be happy with the decision.

Make sure it’s all about the kids

Whatever your arrangements, the children must be the priority. Christmas is a highly anticipated and exciting time for children, and it’s essential that you take into consideration their wishes for how they would like to spend their holiday. The festive period is about family and fun, so make sure that everything you do reflects what your children might want to do – striking a balance, and an amicable resolution is what you’re aiming for.

There’s no set rule

Every family is different, and what works for you may not for others. Some families may still like to spend all or part of Christmas Day together, some may share it, should locations allow, or some may alternate between Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Whatever the plan, it must be the best option for the child and work for both parents. No one wants children to rush from house to house with five minutes to see family (including grandparents, aunts, uncles etc.), open gifts and rush out again without any relaxation time.

Don’t try to outdo your ex

Naturally, a large part of Christmas for children is about presents, but it’s also about spending time with loved ones and having a great time altogether. Financially divorce and separation can be difficult, so try to keep a balance when it comes to spending. Your children may feel embarrassed if they get too much from one parent whilst the other household is under financial pressure.

If you are struggling to agree on child arrangements over Christmas or you need legal advice. We are professional, experienced lawyers who specialise in family law and would be happy to support you.