“In the Bleak Midwinter”: Getting children's Christmas arrangements sorted without the chill. The family law 12 days of Christmas - day 2

As we turn our calendars to December, and we can finally start getting into the Christmas spirit, our family law solicitors Alex Haworth and Gemma Nicholls-Webber share several of their favourite family law topics with a festive twist.

Over the first 12 working days of December, they'll be giving their family law version of the 12 songs of Christmas, where they'll cover a wide range of questions or issues that often arise when dealing with family law matters…

“In the Bleak Midwinter”: Getting children's Christmas arrangements sorted without the chill.

Regardless of social media posts, Christmas can feel daunting after a separation. When making arrangements for children, it can be hard to know where to start and what is reasonable.

In my experience, it is best to get the details arranged as early as possible. Ideally arrangements are agreed at least 2 months in advance but if not yet been agreed, there is still time to get them in place.

The key times to have decided are where the child/children will spend Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Years Eve and New Years Day, and then use these to inform handovers.

You do not need a court order. Just make sure any agreement is set out in a document or email between you so it is clear and easy to refer to in future.

If you are not agreed, then a solicitor can help you with advice to support the discussions, either between you directly or in mediation, or write to your former partner on your behalf. It is worth remembering that Christmas comes around every year. This can help in discussions where someone is trying to minimise time with the other parent, as it is usual for the pattern this year to be reversed next year. Pointing this out can provide a helpful sense check and reframe the conversations.

If you or anyone you know would appreciate advice on this or any of the other topics we have covered in our 12 songs of Christmas, please contact Alex Haworth or Gemma Nicholls-Webber.

The content of this page is a summary of the law in force at the date of publication and is not exhaustive, nor does it contain definitive advice. Specialist legal advice should be sought in relation to any queries that may arise.

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