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Separated Parents and Christmas Day Disputes

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Christmas is (or should be) a magical time for children, whatever their heritage and background. At the very least it is a time to spend with family and to relax. For divorce lawyers, it is common to find Christmas day child contact disagreements leading to bitter children law disputes that can affect parenting relationship with the other parent for the remainder of the year.

In this article, our family law solicitors look at how to sort out Christmas Day contact and parenting disputes.

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For family law legal advice call the expert London family lawyers at OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or complete our online enquiry form .

Tips to sort out Christmas Day contact and parenting disputes

Our family law solicitors like to think that it is best to be pragmatic and to compromise over Christmas Day contact and parenting issues wherever possible rather than apply to the court for a children law order. That is because there is no guarantee that the court will make the child arrangement order you want and, even if the court does make the order you are seeking, you may end up with a big legal bill and an even more difficult relationship with your ex-partner. However, there is sometimes no alternative to making an application to the court for a child arrangement, or specific issue order, or prohibited steps order. For example, if your ex-partner is refusing all contact with the children or if your former husband or wife wants to take the children overseas over Christmas and you object.

Our family law solicitor Christmas tips include:

  1. Remember Christmas Day is only 1 day out of 365 days in the year – don’t let 1 day ruin all the hard work you have put in to sort out post-separation contact arrangements
  2. Remember that Christmas is for the children – for example, will teenagers want to get up at 8 am to travel to their other parent?
  3. Don’t forget extended family, such as grandparents, and how they fit into the plans
  4. Think about the practicalities, such as ensuring the children do not get the same presents at both homes
  5. If you cannot reach an agreement over contact at Christmas leave plenty of time to speak to a family law solicitor and, if necessary, allow enough time to apply to the court for a child arrangement order

The main point to keep in mind is that Christmas can be a very emotive time so it can be best to speak to a family law solicitor to talk through any Christmas contact and parenting disputes to hopefully resolve the disagreements without needing to make or respond to a children law application.

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