Make Christmas easier for everyone

Date published: 22 November 2019

Christmas is a time for family, but when yours is splitting apart it can also be a terrible time.

However, with some organisation and planning it can still be a special time for everyone.

Children are at the heart of the festive season and it’s often the time of year problems come to a head - that is why statistically January is the busiest time for divorce solicitors. 

But for families already going through a break up it can be a confusing time.

The Courts are always extra busy at this time of year as separating parents rush to court to resolve arrangements for childcare and contact. 

However, court should be a last resort - what parents need to show is that they have tried mediation and tried to resolve issues about the arrangements for children themselves.

“Wherever possible courts like to see parents working together with the child’s best interests at heart and if at all possible mediation is the path to take where there are difficulties,” said family solicitor, Lucinda McWatt. 

"What can be better than sitting down together to discuss your children. After all their welfare is something you both should have in common.

“However, all too often the children are at the centre of disputing divorcing parents and can be pulled in different directions.

"As a parent myself I would ask the adults in these cases to consider their children and discuss in advance what their arrangements are.

"Often all children need is certainty, especially at Christmas time."

Family mediation is always available to parents who do not feel able to do this themselves with a trained person available to steer the difficult conversations.

So what should parents do to make Christmas a bit easier on everyone:

·         An open dialogue between the couple is always the best option, compromise counts more than ever at this time of year.

·         Speak to your solicitor if you have any questions or concerns - often they can advise you of the best way forward.

·         Share the big days if possible. Perhaps even consider a joint gift, you are both parents - no matter if you are no longer life-partners.

·         Remember you are making memories so try to minimise conflict - at least over the festive season.

·         There will be other big events and big days to discuss over the years, don’t make every one a conflict zone.

For advice on family law and issues that might affect you, call Pearson's family law team or just pick up the phone, call 0161 785 3500 and chat to Lucinda McWatt.

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