Christmas after separation – Child custody tips

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For many separated families, the festive season is full of obstacles. Who gets what days and times, and where the children are for special events, can be like a battleground.

The most important thing to remember is that children should be allowed to enjoy the magic that is Christmas, regardless of how that may make you feel.

Of course, it’s normal to feel sad that your children are not with you on Christmas morning, or any other time. Thinking about child custody is not something anyone particularly wants to do, especially on the holidays.  The families that report the best outcomes are those that see things from their children’s points of view.

Involve the kids in a holiday plan

  • Set a schedule – as early as is possible, you and your former partner should decide when each of you will have the children. Try not to fight unnecessarily about which days you have with the children – just remember that whenever you have them, to make it special.
  • Set a good example for your children and treat your former partner with respect – the same respect that you would like to be treated with.
  • Reward yourself! It will be hard without your kids, so do something nice for yourself. It can be a special meal or a night in a hotel – whatever you want!
  • Make sure your kids know it’s okay to have fun with each of their parents. Perhaps let them select a special gift and card for your former partner.
  • Understand that the way you used to Christmas, is no longer the standard as you know have two households and two sets of celebrations to consider.
  • Be active – do something which is fun for the children instead of sitting around.
  • Avoid excess alcohol or anti-social behaviour – whilst Christmas can be a time to let your hair down, remember that you will be responsible for the children. It can also give rise to the idea that the children might be at risk in your care.
  • Be sure to spend time with people who are supportive and uplifting.
  • Relax and unwind. Recharging the batteries will make you ready to start the New Year in a good frame of mind.

Seek further child custody help

Child Custody

If you do feel overwhelmed, take the time to see a counsellor for some advice on post-separation parenting, how to manage the conflict and how to manage the children’s needs. The holidays can be especially stressful time for those in the middle of a divorce or separation. 

For those involved in serious conflict with their ex partner, talk things over with your lawyer to see what can be done. This can be guidance in how to manage your direct dealings with them, or seeking a Court outcome in relation to the arrangements. If you are looking for a child custody lawyer, contact us to discuss your needs.

As always, if you or your children are in danger, you should leave the situation immediately if possible, or call 000. You can also find a list of support services here.

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