Separated parents: coping at Christmas

It has officially begun - the Christmas countdown.  However, this can be a very difficult time if you have recently separated from your partner and are having to navigate the festivities with children in tow. Here our Family expert Sue Ellingham provides some helpful tips.
 
Presents, school performances, end of term, budgeting, families… the planning and organisation at this time of year is endless for many of us and then there can be the added worry of how to handle a separation or divorce.
 
With everything going on in the run-up to Christmas, it can be very easy to delay the dreaded conversation with your ex-partner for as long as possible. Unfortunately this can only lead to more stress. If you have not already discussed and agreed the time the children will spend or have contact with each of you over the Christmas holidays, now is probably the time to do it.  Try to come to an arrangement that you will both be happy with. Do be considerate and be prepared to compromise.
 
Get the Christmas present lists written and sent to Santa early. This will ensure you and your partner have time to discuss who will be buying what. It doesn't need to be a competition and you don't need to try and buy your children's love. If you make an agreement, make sure you stick to it so any Christmas Day arguments are avoided. 
 
Although it’s easier said than done, remember that extended family will also need to be considered in these arrangements. It's important that you encourage your children to have a relationship with the other parent's family.
 
Having these conversations can be very difficult and the uncertainty of the situation can be incredibly stressful for everyone. If you are going through a separation or divorce, or if your child arrangements have broken down, we are here to provide you with specialist professional advice. If you would like more information or some preliminary, confidential advice, please contact one of our experienced experts in our Family team by email or telephone.