Christmas can be the toughest time of year for separated parents and their children. Someone, be that Parents, siblings, or grandparents will undoubtedly feel they are missing out on seeing a loved one at such a special family time of year. Agreeing who spends time with the children at Christmas can be challenging. Family Law Partner Charlotte Talbot at Beecham Peacock advises separated parents on the considerations when deciding on the arrangements for children over the festive period.

There are no set arrangements suggested by the Family Courts. Putting the children first is the key. The courts will always consider the children’s welfare as the paramount consideration. It is important to try and agree the arrangements as early as possible and don’t leave it until the last minute. While both Parents and family would like to spend Christmas Day with the children it is important to consider whether this is fair and in the best interests of the children. It is also important to be realistic about the practical arrangements including traveling time. Consideration can be given to collecting a child on Christmas Day evening or Boxing Day morning and celebrating a second Christmas Day.

It is always best if Parents can work together to agree the arrangements and be prepared to compromise. It is always important that the children are protected from any disagreements and should not be involved if possible in the discussions between the Parents.

You can speak to a family Solicitor for specialist advice for further help and assistance. Family Mediation also provides an excellent opportunity to resolve the issues without resorting to court proceedings which are always the last resort.

Christmas is a special time to enjoy with your children. Children’s memories of Christmas will remain with them forever and it is important that this time is made special for them despite the situation.

Charlotte Talbot is a Family Solicitor at Beecham Peacock LLP who are specialists in Family Law. Call 0191 232 3048 or email

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