Each year during December I receive numerous telephone calls from anxious parents who have yet to put in place their arrangements for the Christmas season.
Christmas is a stressful period at the best of times but when parents are separated this can raise many additional areas for dispute;
All of these issues can contribute angst to the already stressful Christmas holidays. The key to avoiding last minute stress is to resolve these issues early and in legal terms October is not too early.
Everyone would like to think that they can agree the matters that arise but Christmas can somehow bring out emotions that other school holidays do not seem to raise. The focus is all on one day and disputes can easily arise which do not appear capable of compromise.
Direct discussions or mediation can help to resolve the various issues but in the worst case scenarios the specific issues and the time the children spend with each parent have to be resolved by the court. If that proves to be the case then it is far too late to make a court application just a few days before Christmas or even 6 – 8 weeks before. Such an application for the court to help with the issues should be made well in advance and hence why I say discussions about the Christmas arrangements in October are not too early even though the stress of Christmas seems a long way off.
Back to In The Press