For separated parents and their children, we know that Christmas can be marred by child arrangement disputes. Christmas 2020 child arrangements come with the added hardship of the coronavirus pandemic and the possibility of spending the festive season on lockdown. How do you navigate this as separated parents?
It comes down to ‘brave communication’. By brave communication, we mean setting aside your differences to come to an agreement on Christmas 2020 child arrangements that are in the best interests of your child(ren).
With Christmas on the horizon and lockdown 2.0 currently in force until 2 December (with rumours that it might be extended), as a separated parent you may feel anxious and under pressure about what to do about child arrangements come the festive season.
What if the Lockdown is Extended?
If the coronavirus lockdown is extended, be assured that your children will still be allowed to move between households, giving you some flexibility when it comes to making Christmas 2020 child arrangements.
Should lockdown 2.0 be extended beyond 2 December and into the Christmas period, it’s very important that separated parents communicate and agree on what’s best for the child(ren) during the festive season.
The ideal is for separated parents to meet face to face (which may be difficult under current circumstances). If a face to face meeting is not possible, then a video call is a good alternative. If your separation is recent and emotions are still raw, you may want to involve a family lawyer from the Holland Family Law team to help you agree arrangements.
What’s Best for Christmas 2020 Child Arrangements?
Far be it from us to TELL you what’s best when it comes to Christmas arrangements for your kids. Instead, we’re here to advise, and based on our experience there are several key things that need to happen to ensure an agreement on child arrangements, including:
#1 – Communication
Going back to the point we made right at the start, communication between separated parents is key. Whether it’s direct, indirect, or via a family solicitor, find a way to communicate that doesn’t involve conflict.
#2 – Compromise
There’s very little agreement on anything in life without compromise. You have to be willing to compromise and understand that you’re probably not going to be ‘satisfied’ with the outcome of any arrangements made, but you can live with them.
#3 – Focus on the children
You have to be willing to set your own wants, wishes and feelings aside to prioritise what’s best for your child(ren). Denying access to your child’s other parent could have severe consequences for you in the future.
Children understand more than we give them credit for and if you’re not willing to consider their feelings when making decisions on their behalf, they could resent you for it as they get older.
#4 – Plan ahead
Christmas, especially with the added hardship of the coronavirus, brings added pressures. The busyness of the season will make Christmas 2020 child arrangements difficult if you leave them until the last minute. Now is the time to put a plan in place and agree arrangements before Christmas becomes all consuming.
Plus, if you can’t agree, there’s still time to get a family solicitor involved.
#5 – Stick to any agreement made
If you reach an agreement with the other parent, stick to it. The last thing your child(ren) will need is the disappointment of arrangements being changed last minute. Stability is hugely important for children at Christmas time and for the sake of your kids, it’s important that you show a united front when it comes to their best interests.