I won’t get to see my kids over Christmas…what can I do?


With the Christmas period fast approaching, many people will be filled with worry and concern that they will not get to spend any part of it with their children. Christmas should be a time that families can spend together to enjoy festive celebrations, unfortunately this is not always the case. For some families, Christmas can be dominated by arguments with an ex-partner about if, when and how contact with their children will take place.

Children at Christmas

Children should be able to enjoy seeing both parents and their extended families over the festive period. Both parents should consider what is in the child’s best interests when determining how they spend their holidays, often, parents can lose sight of this which leads to disputes. Unfortunately, this can result in one parent not being able to see their children at all, which can leave the children both upset and confused.

Here are some practical tips for parents to consider before making arrangements to see their children over Christmas:

  1. Consider in advance where the children would prefer to spend Christmas day and what is in their best interests. Some believe they should split Christmas Day between both parents, but if that will involve the children eating two Christmas dinners or being rushed off early, is that really in their best interests?
  2. If the children would not be spending Christmas day with you, consider whether you can celebrate Christmas on Boxing Day with them instead.
  3. If you do not get the opportunity to see the children on Christmas Day, consider suggesting that the children spend Christmas Day with you next year so that the arrangements are alternated fairly.
  4. Often, parents like to celebrate New Year with their children, so it can be a compromise for one parent to celebrate Christmas with their children and the other New Year. Think about whether you would like to see the New Year in with your children if you did not get to see them on Christmas morning.

Any arrangements you make needs to be a compromise between both parents. If your ex-partner is not willing to compromise, you may need to take legal advice on your options to ensure that these problems do not occur again next year.

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