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'It's my turn to have the children this year!'

The Christmas period has arrived: a time of happiness and excitement for many, but also a time that can lead to tension and conflict between separated parents. It is unsurprising that at such a special time of year both parents will want to spend good, quality time with their children; but it is also a busy time of year full of obligations, and sometimes it can be difficult agreeing child arrangements to everybody’s satisfaction.

Put your children first

An obvious one, but arrangements for your children should of course be based on what is in their best interests.  Speak with your children to see what they would like to do.  Try and take everyone’s wishes into consideration when discussing Christmas holiday arrangements.  Keeping the children’s welfare at the centre of your planning should make reaching satisfactory arrangements far easier.

Plan early

Give yourselves plenty of time to discuss plans, and don’t leave things to the last minute! Last minute conversations with your ex-partner only increases tension and makes it less likely that you will reach an amicable compromise.  The earlier you are able to co-ordinate diaries with your ex-partner, taking into consideration respective work and other commitments, the better.

Be fair

Christmas is a special time for children, generating lasting memories.  You should try and ensure that your children can enjoy time with both you and your ex-partner.  Refusing to agree shared time or making your children feel guilty for wanting to spend time with your ex-partner may have a negative impact on them.  Being flexible with your ex-partner when making arrangements may make them more likely to reciprocate with a flexible approach in the future.

Be organised

Supply all the information you have about your Christmas plans to your ex-partner as soon as you can. Perhaps try to avoid firm commitments and bookings until all arrangements are agreed.


Karol Kaliczak


If you have any further queries, please contact our resident child arrangement expert Karol by emailing or calling 01926 491181 for free initial advice or to arrange a consultation

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