In a matter of less than two weeks, we will all be able to form our Christmas bubbles with a maximum of two other households. While the government’s announcement on the relaxation of rules means that families and friends will be able to mix for five days over the festive period (within the three household rule), how many will choose to do so – and the tensions that could be caused either way – will add to what is already, for many, a complicated time of year.
Making child arrangements over Christmas
The coronavirus pandemic has added a great deal of pressure to the already difficult decision of which parent the children will spend Christmas with. While children can be in both of their parents’ Christmas bubbles (this is the case even if each parent forms separate bubbles), working out who will see the children and when, and how this can all be managed within a 5-day period – especially if both parents live far apart – has become a logistical nightmare for many.
One key piece of advice that we always tell our clients who are struggling with child arrangements at this time of year, is to try to keep communication lines open. Talking to your former partner about your concerns and attempting to reach an agreement between yourselves which is fair and practical, is usually best. If this is not possible, a mediator – an independent third party there to aid discussions and help you and your former partner to reach an agreement – is normally much less costly and much quicker than going to court.
Plan ahead for this Christmas
More than ever before, it is vital to decide child arrangements over Christmas well ahead of time. If you are struggling – or you think you may encounter problems – get in touch with a family solicitor for legal advice before the 5-day Christmas bubble rules come into force. Hopefully, you will then give yourself enough time to reach an agreement.
Christmas is always a difficult time of year when it comes to child arrangements. Coronavirus restrictions, although necessary, have served to further complicate and add pressure to what is already a tough decision. As always, compromise and communication are key.
If you are struggling to reach an agreement with your former partner about child arrangements this Christmas, get in touch to book your free consultation with one of our experienced family lawyers.