The end of the year is upon us, and while Christmas and holidays are often a happy and joyous occasion, where families spend some quality time together, this isn’t always the case for those who have recently separated with children involved.

While adults are capable of understanding separation, the accompanying emotions, processes and procedures that follow, it may be incredibly difficult for children to understand the changes to the family dynamic, and this can often result in feelings of confusion and insecurity.

As parents, it is a joint responsibility which you share with one another to shield your children as much as possible from any disagreements or tension arising as a result of separation or divorce. We urge you to remember that it is of the utmost importance that you try to put any issues with each other aside, and work together to make sure that your children enjoy a positive and joyous Christmas and holiday period.

You may have formal court orders in place which state how the children will spend their time over the break, but you will still need to discuss changeover times and any plans with the other parent to ensure that you are all in agreeance with the arrangements.  This will ensure there is no confusion at the last minute which may negatively impact on the children spending time with either parent.

If you have recently separated or don’t have formal orders in place in relation to your children, you may be unsure as to how to organise your children’s time over the break.  It is important that the children are able to spend quality time with both parents over the Christmas period, and you should work together with the other parent to ensure that appropriate arrangements are made, especially for Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

It is a good idea to open the lines of communication with the other parent early to ensure that there is sufficient time to negotiate, discuss suitable options and to make appropriate arrangements for the holiday break.  When speaking to the other parent, remember to try to put your personal feelings aside, and focus on providing your children with a Christmas and holiday period to remember for all of the right reasons.

If you need assistance in interpreting court orders that you already have in place, or if you have recently separated or do not have court orders and are not sure how to make arrangements for the upcoming Christmas period, then please contact our experienced and friendly Family Law Team at Affinity Lawyers today on 07 5563 8970.  For your convenience we are open throughout the Christmas/New Year break (except for public holidays) to assist you should you need us, so please do not hesitate to call our office.