Christmas is usually a special and happy time of the year for most, however after the disappointment of being unable to spend time with loved ones last Christmas, this year is more important than ever.
For separated parents, the festive season can be dampened by disputes and tension arising over contact and how a child’s time should be divided. Naturally, every parent wants to spend time with their child over Christmas.
It can be a difficult process to juggle your child’s time to ensure they are seeing all their family. Therefore, it is important to agree your child arrangements as early as possible. In some cases, it is not possible for parents to resolve this by themselves and the matter may have to be resolved with the assistance of mediation, negotiations via solicitors, or by one party issuing court proceedings where a Judge will determine how a child’s time should be spent. Court proceedings should be considered as a last resort as this can be a costly and lengthy process, and can have an impact upon the parents’ ongoing relationship.
In determining a judgment, a court will consider various factors but the presumption is that child should have quality time with both parents on an equal basis. This may be good guidance for a starting point if you are looking to resolve this type of situation amicably.
It may be beneficial for you and your ex-partner to draw up a timetable in advance to the Christmas period which will help to avoid any miscommunication and confusion over when each parent is spending time with their child. It will also allow each parent to plan activities in advance and make the most of their time with their child.
Given the added complications due to Covid, potential isolation periods and the risk of any further restrictions being introduced at the last moment, communication and compromise is key. Your child’s health, welfare and happiness, as well as the safety of the whole family should be the priority of everyone. Therefore prior planning, as well as understanding that plans may have to change at the last minute whilst we live in a Covid world, will help to avoid any upset or disappointment.
In the unfortunate event you are not able to come to an agreement and are facing difficulties surrounding your child arrangements, please get in touch with our Family Law team for further advice or assistance at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 0344 967 2505.