The festive season is almost upon us! It traditionally provides us with a wealth of media showing happy extended families enjoying jolly get-togethers around a sumptuous roast. Sadly, many people will be facing the breakdown of a relationship at this time and this preconceived idea can add to the emotional strain.
Christmas is always a pressurised time for parents, given the additional financial burden of supporting Santa in providing gifts. However, it is also a time when disagreements can arise regarding time spent with the children over Christmas and New Year. This is particularly common in the early stages following relationship breakdown.
It is important to have an idea in mind about how much time you would like to spend with your children over Christmas and New Year. This is often referred to by people as access or contact. Arrangements may depend partly on family traditions, or on your work commitments. Planning in advance allows you to agree in writing (messenger, text or email will do) where the children will be. This helps parents and the extended family to ensure that they enjoy a peaceful Christmas.
Above all, no parent wants their child to remember a Christmas filled with hostility between its parents. That makes it doubly important for the children to know where they will be and when, to minimise any insecurities they are suffering due to their new family circumstances and to avoid them witnessing any upsetting adult behaviour that would remain with them into adulthood.
If you would like to discuss this further, please contact either Heather Snowdon in our Teesside office at firstname.lastname@example.org T: 01642 873745 or Emma Canham in our Newcastle office at email@example.com T: 0191 2069621 who can assist you in negotiating arrangements including drafting a parenting plan if necessary.