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Separated parents: how to plan for a Covid-Christmas

02 December 2020 | Jennifer Hargreaves

This year has been an exceptionally challenging time for separating and divorced families. In the words of Boris “We all want some kind of Christmas, we need it, we certainly feel we deserve it.” I have already purchased my Christmas tree and thankfully the Government have announced that they will be relaxing lockdown rules to enable me to spend Christmas with my family. With the rule that only three households can mix indoors between December 23 and 27th, it has been difficult for me to keep everyone happy when making Christmas arrangements. I can imagine this would be even more complex for separated parents.

Planning for a Covid-Christmas

I have already noticed as we are approaching Christmas more clients are getting in touch with questions about child arrangements. A Covid-Christmas will mean that this holiday season is likely to be different for everyone. However, the rules continue to allow children to move between separated parents (and those parents who do not live together) may be part of both parents’ Christmas bubbles.

Child Arrangements Order

Unless there is a Child Arrangements Order in place that states otherwise, there is no definitive rule on where and with who the children should spend their time during the festive period. There is an expectation from the Court that all holidays should be shared fairly and for the children to spend quality time with each parent, so long as it is safe to do so.

Make child care arrangements early

A common approach between separated parents is for Christmas Day and New Year’s Day to be alternated between them each year. Alternatively, Christmas Day to be shared with one parent having the morning and the other the afternoon – although this arrangement may not suit every child or may not be possible due to logistics.

With the added unknown of potential lockdown restrictions, trying to put in place arrangements for Christmas in advance is tricky. However, I would still strongly recommend that discussions should take place a while before the Christmas holidays begin. 

Specialist children dispute solicitors

This year will require a certain level of flexibility. If you do not think an agreement will be reached about how the children spend the festive period, then please contact our team of specialise family solicitors for advice. You can contact us by calling 0117 906 9400 or email hello@gl.law

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.

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