Around this time of year, everyone starts talking about Christmas:
What are you doing for Christmas?
What are you cooking for Christmas?
Divorced and separated parents have a few options when it comes to Christmas day, none of them ideal.
There are two ways to do Christmas Day when you are divorced
Divide the day into two with the kids: one parent takes the morning and lunch; the other parent takes the afternoon and dinner. Do alternate years with the kids.
The alternate years’ option is dire. Year on, you get to spend the day with your kids, but you are still conscious that they are missing their other parent. Year off, you are a Christmas widow; you wake up alone, everyone is busy with their own families, your day has no shape and you must attend all the usual family gatherings, childless.
Tips to ease the stress over the holiday season
Parents should aim to communicate, and plan holiday arrangements and time spent with children in advance. By planning and agreeing on dates/times, the holiday season can be a far less stressful for everyone involved.
- Agree on what you will do in advance with exact dates and drop off/pick up times
- Inform your children they are spending time with each parent over certain days
- Avoid situations where your children are drawn into conflict
- If your children’s wishes can’t be met, take the time to sit down with them and explain why
Despite all your efforts it is possible that difficulties may still arise. Whilst you must take responsibility for what you do as a parent, you cannot be responsible for how the other parent behaves.
December and January can be a difficult time emotionally for everyone with school holidays, Christmas, New Years and then the commencement of another school year. It’s not surprising that January has historically been the busiest time of year for divorce lawyers. Couples on the verge of separation often hold out through Christmas for the sake of the kids and the extended family.
There are no magical answers to the resolution of family law matters. What makes the difference is obtaining advice from experienced family lawyers as early as possible rather than waiting until the end of the year.
Family lawyers are a means of helping and guiding people through a stressful, drawn-out period in their lives and provide crucial assistance to resolve these challenges as peacefully and respectfully as possible.
We are open throughout the holiday period with the exception of Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.
If you need family law advice, Wiltshire Family Law can help. We offer a free initial consultation and have a highly trained, caring and compassionate team of family lawyers ready to assist you. Contact us confidentially on 13 20 30.