Christmas Brings Additional Stress for Separated Parents

13 December 2017 Written by Family Law Caithness Category: Family Law News

Christmas can be an extremely stressful time for separated parents. Not only do they have to cope with the additional costs associated with the festive period, but scheduling arrangements for the children come under increasing strain. 

“Far from being a time of joy, Christmas is often the most stressful period of the year,” explained Jane Robey, CEO of National Family Mediation, a charity which helps families reach post-separation agreements on parenting, property and finance.

“Christmas holidays often expose living arrangements that work well all year as inadequate during the festive period,” she said. “There’s turmoil for pick-ups and drop-offs when children need to visit relatives they haven’t seen for the past year. Then there’s piecing together the jigsaw puzzle of where the children will spend which days during the holiday period.”

“It all heaps huge pressure on families, and it’s a time when separated couples often find settlements imposed by divorce courts don’t work,” she added. “As a result, the child is caught helplessly in the middle.”

The charity suggests that drawing up a parenting plan now could help parents deal with the additional time demands that Christmas brings. The plan can be used to agree when and where the children will spend time over the holidays, but can also be used to reach agreement over general parenting arrangements beyond the festive period.

“It can help ensure both separated parents agree arrangements that suit them both and that, crucially, ensure the child has a positive and enjoyable Christmas,” commented Jane Robey.

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