11 TIPS FOR YOUR SEPARATED CHRISTMAS

11 TIPS FOR YOUR SEPARATED CHRISTMAS

Date
12 Nov 2018
If your family has separated this year, Christmas can test the new dynamics and already strained relationship.  Now just six weeks away, Dianne and Kate from our Family Law team share their expertise to keep the spirit of Christmas for the kids to enjoy.
  1. Plan ahead to reduce tension about how it’s going to work this year so that you all know what is happening.   There are pros and cons to how you split things from a clear split of days (Christmas Day yours, Boxing Day mine) or sharing the day together, and some of this depends on circumstances, but it’s what is going to work for your family.  Make sure you have those conversations this week.
  2. Consider could the other parent to call in on Christmas Day to give the children presents?
  3. If your kids are older, you may want their ideas too on what they want to do this year.  Try to firm up the plans so that they don’t worry about it – there is reassurance and excitement for everyone to prepare for a great Christmas.
  4. Don’t put pressure on children to choose between parents.  Showing a united front here is really crucial and after all, you all want a good Christmas together and apart. 
  5. Try not to feel the pressure from extended family.   Explain your plans and that it is in the interest of their grandchildren to enjoy Christmas with both parents and families.
  6. Ensure your children are spending a good amount of time with both parents and be positive about this time for the other parent.
  7. Maybe you have extended families you need to consider and involve too.
  8. Accept that both parents will have to make compromises.
  9. Have a good chat about presents so that you don’t make a competition out of it or over compensate to the kids, maybe even causing you financial issues.   Would it work to do a joint present?
  10. Keep the family traditions you love, and maybe consider some new ones.   This year might be different, but different can be good too.
  11. As new families develop, support your children in giving cards and presents to half and step siblings, step parents and step grandparents. These small gestures can show your children that you accept how important the whole family is to them.
 
 
If you need any assistance making a parenting plan, to cover Christmas get in touch with Dianne and Kate to see if mediation would help here.