Article Category - Family Law 13 December 2021

Christmas is only a few weeks away and most of us have started hanging the wreaths on our doors, decorating our Christmas trees, and purchasing gifts for loved ones.

For those who have recently separated, the Christmas preparations will need to include making arrangements with your former spouse as to the time you will each spend with the children over the holidays. To minimise conflict and difficulty, we suggest that these discussions with your former spouse begin now so that you have the time to compromise with one another.

When making such arrangements you may wish to consider:

  1. The age of the children and any views that they may have expressed;
  2. How/when changeover will occur, keeping in mind the level of conflict between you and your former spouse;
  3. How you and your former spouse (and your extended families) like to celebrate the Christmas period i.e. is Christmas Day or Christmas Eve more important to you or your spouse or any other cultural events which occur during the holidays;
  4. Any travel arrangements made over the holiday period; 
  5. Do you and your former spouse intend to alternate the Christmas period each year or split Christmas Day itself? (alternating the Christmas period is often a good method particularly in high conflict situations)

You may even wish to include your former spouse in Christmas celebrations but this can be very difficult. Alternatively, this year can be seen as an opportunity to move forward and create new traditions for yourself and the children.

Following separation, and at Christmas, it is normal to be feeling sad and a sense of grief given that the family unit has broken down but if you start planning for the Christmas period now you may reduce the stress of leaving these matters to the last minute.

If coming to an agreement proves to be too difficult, you may wish to request the assistance of a family dispute practitioner such as those with the Family Relationships Centre or give us a call on (02) 6331 2911. We’re here to help!

Lauren Sheraton | Solicitor