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Child arrangements for the holiday period

View profile for Wendy Armstrong
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It’s never too early to think about child arrangements for the holiday period

It is the time spent with family during the holiday season that makes it such a special time of year. However, for some families the time leading up to the holidays can be etched with worry and disappointment as they try to make arrangements for child contact.

BakerLaw has a few suggestions to help minimise stress and to ensure that all families are able to enjoy the festive period in 2019.

You could try to reach an agreement with your ex-partner as early as possible. It is important that negotiations are entered into as early as possible not only because emotions can run high as the holiday season approaches but also because if agreement cannot be reached you will be able to explore other options.  When approaching the matter with your ex-partner we would suggest that you do so in the spirit of compromise.

You should take into consideration the wishes and views of the children. It might be the case that both parents would like to have contact with their child/children on Christmas day, however, we urge you to consider your priorities when entering into discussions. The holidays can be quite overwhelming for children and moving from house to house after the excitement of Christmas morning could be exhausting. Consider how your time would be best spent with the children, suggesting options that will be in their best interests during this special time of year.

Mediation could be of assistance. Attendance at mediation can help to facilitate discussions between you and your ex-partner with a view to implementing a mutually agreeable solution. This option can give you more control over the outcome than if Court proceedings were issued.

If agreement cannot be reached between you and your ex-partner, a solicitor can advise on your options and make suitable recommendations. This can include assisting in negotiating an agreement, obtaining a Court Order or a referral to mediation to resolve the issues.

We appreciate that time can be of the essence leading up to the holidays and therefore taking legal advice at an early stage can ensure that steps are taken reach an arrangement or agreement in time so that the holiday season can be enjoyed. For this reason, it is important to think about contact arrangements well in advance of the festive period.

This article is not a definitive statement of the law. It is designed as a free update on the law at the time of publishing. It is not a substitute for legal advice on specific facts and circumstances. BakerLaw LLP and/or the writer accepts no liability or responsibility for reliance on this article and recommends that you seek independent legal advice on your specific circumstances prior to taking any steps.