Child Arrangements over the Festive Period

Posted: Friday November 26 2021

By: Guest Blogger

You may still live in the same property, you may be living separately in the local area or there may be a geographical distance between you. 

Child Arrangements over the Festive Period

By Sally Clark – Barnes Clark Family Law

Christmas is probably the most emotive time of the year and can be stressful if you are separated and trying to agree where your children will spend time on Christmas Day.

You may still live in the same property, you may be living separately in the local area or there may be a geographical distance between you.

If at all possible it is far better to try and work together and come to some compromise together, to ensure that your children can enjoy time over the festive season in a conflict free environment and without worrying whether mum or dad is ok or whether they are going to fight at handovers.

As difficult as it may be and we appreciate that other people around you may have strong view also, our advice is to really try to keep arrangements and discussions child focussed – what arrangement would benefit the children most, not what would benefit the other parent or yourself the most.

If you are struggling to talk to each other or communicate in a neutral manner, we suggest that you consider engaging a family mediator to help come to an agreement and perhaps assist you in drawing up a parenting plan so that you can agree a template of arrangements to assist you to move forward.  Even where you can come to agreement between yourselves, entering the agreement into a parenting plan, may be a useful exercise. Copies of such plans can be found on the CAFCASS website where there is a wealth of associated and very helpful guidance and information https://www.cafcass.gov.uk/grown-ups/parents-and-carers/divorce-and-separation/parenting-plan/

Here at Barnes Clark Family Law, we offer an accredited mediation service, run by Sally Clark, who is a highly experienced accredited Child Inclusive Family Mediator. There is some current funding available on a non-means tested basis under the Government Voucher Scheme to help separated parents engage in mediation to work out issues regarding their children. This funding may be a real help particularly when finances are stretched in the run up to Christmas.

For further information about family mediation please contact us at enquiries@barnesclarkfamily.law or 01423 637272/01274 861096.