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Words of advice for newly separated or divorced parents this Christmas

13 December 2015 97 views No comments

To some Christmas can not come early enough, the chance of relaxation with the family over the festive period is a much earned and anticipated break for most.

Yet Christmas may spell out a totally different set of emotions for those parents who have recently separated and will be possibly be spending Christmas away from their children this year.

This guide has been put together using the knowledge and expertise of family lawyers.

We will use their experience of encountering common family problems at this time of year and present some practical solutions to possibly help you.

Here are some tips to help make Christmas more enjoyable for your family post separation.

Plan ahead so you meet less resistance to your plans

Most can stand accused of leaving some element of Christmas planning right until the very last minute.

Yet it is important to open a form of communication with your former partner as soon as possible, that’s in terms of arranging access to see your children over the Christmas break.

Leaving your arrangements to the last minute can possibly increase hostility as one partner may have already made plans.

This can sometimes increase acrimony lasting well after the Christmas break, that’s if one partner’s plans are opposed by the resident parent.

So leave plenty of time- this will allow you plenty of time also to negotiate in well in advance if for any reason your first request is declined.

Having a “second Christmas” is a constructive solution for some families

When you think of the amount of planning and preparation that goes into Christmas it can all be over in the blink of an eye.

So quickly sometimes some people wished they had enjoyed the time more with loved ones and worried less about the trivial matters.

Well the same can be said about the festive period as a whole, we can worry about who gets access on the day, or we can make the most of the holiday period by making it work for the family as a whole even when separated.

We can make it work for us by thinking creatively, so if you don’t achieve access on Christmas day to see your children, why not postpone and set up your own “second Christmas” at a later date?

It can be Christmas how you want it, with your children, just a day or two later.

You could have that Christmas dinner, see your children un-wrap them presents and create great memories, just by making the holiday season fit around you, not the other way around.

Toy’s fade from memory, the experience and feeling of Christmas can last forever

We can all remember the anticipation of Christmas, that feeling of wonder and excitement. Yet can we remember the toys? Probably some yes, but not all.

So our best advice would be not to enter into who can buy the best, biggest or most expensive presents.

Some parents compete for attention by present buying, maybe sometimes as a way of retaliating against a former partner by trying to out-do them in some small way.

Sometimes this is used as an effort also to draw a child’s attention away from one parent over Christmas.

Especially so if one parent buys a present the other parent is not so fond of, such as a computer game for example.

This is achieved by possibly letting the child know what they have on Christmas, even though they can not receive the present until they see the other non-resident parent in person causing a possible rift.

No one wins here, maybe the child temporarily in terms of the anticipation of obtaining the present, but it can distract you and your partner and children from enjoying Christmas generally.

So don’t try and up-stage your partner, as this can affect the whole families enjoyment of Christmas.

Alternate the years if often seen as fair

If you can not agree to see your Children on Christmas day, why not suggest alternating the years, so you have access next year?

This is often seen as a fair solution, for many divorced and separated families.

Finally if all else fails make sure you see those close to you over Christmas

It’s far too easy if you are denied from seeing your children by the resident parent or you are currently going through court to arrange access, to feel down at this time of year.

It’s important not to escalate the situation further in terms of rising acrimony between you and your former partner.

So talk to those close to you and where possible make sure you see friends and family over Christmas, this will likely decrease feelings of isolation.

This guide has been brought to you by Alun Jones Family Law


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