With another a week to go before some family law solicitors shut up shop for the Christmas and New Year period (we will be open on Christmas Eve!), it can often be one of our busiest times of the year.
A lot of people assume “divorce day”, which will be on Monday 7 January 2019, is the busiest time of the year in the family law industry because a lot of families decide to stay together over Christmas for the sake of the children before separating or for others there is just something about the idea of a “New Year, New Start”.
So whilst the New Year may see an increase in issues relating to divorce and resolving financial matters, the lead up to Christmas tends to see a rise in issues involving child care arrangements.
Lots of families’ view Christmas as a very special time of the year, especially if the children are young enough to get a visit from Santa. So it is not uncommon for separated parents to argue over the child care arrangements over the Christmas period.
As family lawyers we can help resolve these issues and reach agreements between separated parents when communication has broken down and the assistance of a third party is needed. We can write to the other parent with proposals in an attempt to reach a compromise, reminding parents that any decision made has to be in the best interests of the children.
If an agreement cannot be reached, even with the assistance of a solicitor or mediator for example, then ultimately the only way a decision can be made is by one parent issuing an application to court. This ultimately means a family court judge will decide on your Christmas child arrangements.
We have seen a number of different arrangements made and agreed by parents over the years, a few options as follows:
- The child gets “2 Christmas Days” – so they spend Christmas Day with one parent and have another “Christmas Day” on Boxing Day with the other parent. Either this continues on an annual basis or parents agree to alternate.
- The child gets to spend Christmas Day with both parents so they may spend Christmas Eve with one parent and then part way during Christmas Day at a time that suits both parents after the turkey has been eaten, the child then travels to the other parent’s home to spend the remainder of Christmas Day with them and overnight to Boxing Day. Again parents can decide to keep this as the same arrangement each year or they may alternate.
If you need help dealing with child care arrangements then please contact Maguire Family Law via the details below and you will have the opportunity of speaking to one of our highly experienced solicitors within the team.