Christmas can be a stressful time when parents are separated, especially if it’s the first one.
Research has shown that kids do far better when their parents are not arguing or in conflict. Although it is always good for the kids to see that the parents can talk to each other, this is especially important on special days such as Christmas.
It is usual practice in family law that the children share the day with each parent. A common arrangement is that one year a parent will have the kids on Christmas Eve until some time on Christmas Day. The other parent will then have the kids from Christmas Day until sometime on Boxing Day. This arrangement then alternates each year.
This way each parent sees the kids on the day. It is important for the parents to try and agree on the time as it is fair and reasonable for the children to see both parents.
What were once family traditions often have to change to accommodate the time and that is a reality of separation. Just because you always did certain things over that time does not mean that it can continue after separation. It is a time for compromise and each parent must always consider what is in the best interests of the kids and put them first.
Should you not be able to agree, and there are no Court orders in place, then you should consider mediation. Contact the Family Relationships Centre (or CatholicCare 4356 2600?) for further information on 4363 8000 if you live on the Central Coast or call Ruth Single now on 02 4323 7699 for a confidential chat.