The Christmas period is a time of heightened emotions whether positive or negative. It is a magical time of year for children, and a season filled with good food, friends and family. But if you and your partner have separated, it can be a very isolating and lonely time of year. And if you have children then you will of course want to see them over the holidays – especially if you’re the non-resident parent.
It is important to know in advance who is going to be seeing the children on which days and between what times over the festive period. This makes it easier for separated parents, as it avoids any potential arguments or misunderstandings. Most importantly, it is clear for your children which parent they will be spending time with each day. This helps to reduce the stress and anxiety during a period you want to make as special as possible for your children.
Sometimes parents are able to come to agreements about visits between themselves, but not always. If you are the non-resident parent, then it will be your priority to make sure your children spend time with you.
Arranging time to see children over Christmas
If there are disagreements between parents about who will see your child on Christmas Day, and the festive period generally, they can be resolved by the Family Law Court. They will take into consideration the welfare checklist set out in the Children Act 1989. The court proceedings are wholly centred on what the Court believes is best for your child, and not what is best for the parents in terms of pre-existing plans or convenience.
Child Contact Agreements
It is important that your child is able to maintain a good relationship with both parents when you are separating. This means being able to spend quality time with each parent separately. A Child Contact Agreement is an arrangement detailing when the non-resident parent will see the child/children – usually on a regular basis such as weekends and certain holidays.
Your children’s needs and beliefs about Christmas and Father Christmas will change as they get older, so the arrangements that you agree at the outset of a separation, will likely change as your child gets older. It is important to have a plan in place, but it is equally important to be flexible in case circumstances change.
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