Does Christmas have to be a time of stress for separated parents?

29 September 2021

As we approach the end of another eventful year, thoughts are beginning to turn to Christmas and the prospect of spending Christmas with family and friends now that lockdown rules have eased.

For separated or divorced parents, Christmas can be a difficult and tense time so it is important to agree plans as to where and how children will spend the festive period.

But does Christmas have to be a time of stress for separated parents? Here are three suggestions that may help to ease any such tensions.

1. Make plans early Be sure to make the arrangements for the Christmas holiday as early as possible. If you cannot reach an agreement, seek to involve a mediator or family law solicitor, who will help focus on finding solutions that work for you and your family. Our team would be more than happy to arrange a free consultation with our mediator or one of our family solicitors to discuss any concerns or immediate worries you may have in the lead up to December.

2. Put the children first The Christmas period is centred around children and bringing families together. If your children are of an appropriate age, talk to them about traditions they would like to continue and with whom. It is important to maintain a level of stability and familiarity for children whilst accepting and explaining that there may be some changes to this Christmas compared to previous years if family dynamics have shifted.

3. Try to be flexible and open-minded Rigid and inflexible plans at a time like Christmas are unlikely to ease tensions and can often lead to arguments or disputes with children being the ones who affected the most. Approaching arrangements with an open and flexible mindset will not only make the holiday period more enjoyable but certainly benefit children who see their parents being able to work things out.

Christmas should be a time of happiness and happy memories, especially of the children. Planning arrangements in advance whilst considering your children’s wishes in an open-minded way can ease some of the potential pressures and allow you and your family to be able to relax over the festive season and enjoy time together.

If you would like a free initial consultation with a member of our expert Family Law team to discuss child arrangements during Christmas or any other family law issue, please contact us on 01244 356 789 or email

Please note: This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.

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