As Christmas approaches, the nation is busying themselves with all the tasks that need to be undertaken prior to Christmas; the shopping , present buying, food shopping and other essential housekeeping tasks. Plans are being made to visit relatives and friends over the festive period.
However, in all the hustle and bustle leading up to Christmas, have you agreed arrangements for the children?
It is important to all concerned that arrangements are agreed if possible, at an early stage, so that there are no misunderstandings about the time the children are to spend with each parent.
The children themselves can look forward to the time they will spend with their parents and wider family.
If it is possible to reach an agreement directly, it is always a good idea to write down what has been agreed and each parent keep a copy for reference purposes. Be willing to compromise in any arrangements. Most parents would like to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas morning with their children, so it will not be possible for both parents to have the children at the same time. Consider agreeing to compromise on the basis that the parent who has Christmas eve and Christmas day morning this year, will agree to alternate the arrangement, so that the other parent spends time with the children Christmas Eve and Christmas morning next year in 2020.
Also consider arrangements for the New Year. If one parent has Christmas Eve and Christmas morning with the children, the other parent could have New Years Eve and New years day with the children.
It is hoped that most parents can agree the arrangements at an early stage before Christmas. This will clearly be in the children’s best interests and will avoid any conflict over Christmas.
If however it is not possible to agree arrangements, the best way forward would be for either party to make a referral to the Family mediation service, who are a body of professionals who can assist separated couples to reach an agreement in respect of the arrangements for the children.
If it is still not possible to agree arrangements after the mediation process, then either party would be at liberty to make an application to the Court. The court can then adjudicate on the arrangements in respect of the children and make an order setting out the terms of the arrangements for the time each of the children spend with their parents.
If you like to talk to a member of our family team please contact either Corinne Bailey-Brown, Terri Pickup or Rhona Royle on 0161 624 6811
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