Children Arrangements for Christmas

27th November 2020

If you are separated from someone and have children together, contact arrangements can be a very emotive and difficult subject. Christmas is a time when normal arrangements may show extra strain, particularly during a worldwide pandemic.

Children are often greatly affected by marriage and relationship breakdown, even when life has settled, with particular times of the year causing emotional upset. It is therefore important to be prepared and have agreements in place well in advance so each party knows where they stand, and the best arrangements can then be made.

These are out top tips for child contact over the Christmas period:

  1. Are plans already in place? – If you have already been through child contact proceedings agreements may already be in place, ensure you know what these are.
  2. Plan – Planning is the most important thing you can do, do this as early as possible.
  3. Talk to your children – If your children are of an age where they can have an input in these discussions allow it and hear what they have to say. Always keep them informed of any decisions made so they are aware of what is happening. But don’t share details of any disagreement between parents with them.
  4. What are your options? – Consider what options suit you and your children best, for example would you be looking to see them in the morning and the other parent in the afternoon, or could you have them all day Christmas day and the other person all day Boxing Day. Consider carefully the options available and what will suit all parties best, in particular the children.
  5. Written agreement – Once an agreement has been reached, put something in writing for both parties to keep so there can be no doubt at a later date.
  6. Consider legal advice – If you are unable to come to an agreement, it may be time to seek legal advice, we would recommend doing this as soon as possible to ensure there is enough time to finalise agreements.
  7. In normal circumstances, Christmas might be a busy time of year for children with parties to attend and school events, these are likely to be a lot less this year but do consider what may be on the horizon and how that may or may not effect contact over the Christmas period.
  8. Covid-19 contact – Be reassured children under 18 can go between the homes of parents who are separated during lockdown and other Covid-19 restrictions. However, we would suggest you do consider your child’s health, whether there is a risk of infection and if there are vulnerable people living in either household.

If you have recently separated, it is crucial that in such circumstances you have experienced and realistic legal representation to ensure that the best interests of the children are always put first. Our understanding team will work with you in achieving the best arrangements for your children, dealing with any safety issues, their financial welfare and support arrangements.

If you need assistance we can help. To speak to our Family Law team, call 01392 424242 or e-mail