With the festive period almost upon us, many separated couples will have to think about how best to share the time with their children over the Christmas break. This can be stressful as parents sometimes find it hard to agree who the children should be with and when, particularly on the all-important Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. This year things may be even more difficult given the current pandemic.
Under the current rules, children under the age of 18 can continue to move between their parents' homes for the purposes of contact and this applies regardless of which tier families find themselves in. Between 23 and 27 December this year up to three households can meet to form a Christmas bubble. This should come as welcome news as it means that children moving between their parents' homes between this period will be able to spend time with extended family members/friends on both parents' sides.
Parental alienation is a form of psychological abuse against both the child and the absent parent. This is usually caused by one parent’s psychological manipulation of a child, resulting in the child becoming hostile or showing resistance to one parent.
For most of us Christmas is all about time off work, catching up with family and enjoying the festivities. For children it is all about the presents, Father Christmas, reindeers, having fun and if we are lucky enough to have a white Christmas all about the magic of Christmas.
Often when there is an acrimonious separation, the parents’ sole focus is what arrangements should be put in place for the child to spend time with either parent, leaving those who previously played a key role in the child’s life forgotten. With childcare proving costly and with the ever increasing demands of working to support your family, grandparents are increasingly relied upon to provide much needed childcare. In addition, there are now more multi-generational households than ever, with many children accustomed to seeing their grandparents on a daily basis.