Christmas is coming around; a general election is approaching, and it is the turn of the family department at George Ide to put something interesting and innovative together for you lovely readers! As a busy, harassed family lawyer, mediator, wife, mother of two and expecting a small army for Christmas dinner I confess my first thought – “I’ll take the easy route and refresh something I have done before around Christmas time”.
It is therefore with some irony that my previous work proudly reports “Meghan Markle has purportedly received an invite from Her Majesty the Queen to join the family for a Christmas meal.” Well, what a difference a few years can make. The 2019 headlines report a rift between the Sussexes and other royals and Harry has declined the invitation to participate in the traditional royal Christmas. Marriage and children can change everything!
Divorce and separation can also change everything. Parents and children competing for one another’s attentions, the minefield of gift giving and managing expectation of the extended family. If you are co-parenting children as separated parents planning is key to enjoying a successful relationship not only with your children but the other parent too. If you have not yet agreed upon your Christmas arrangements, you really should be tackling the issue quickly. If it is the first Christmas apart family traditions may need to alter, time must be shared, and present buying thought through in a little more detail.
When thinking about any arrangements for children it is important to put the interests of the children first. This will mean altering your own traditions and expectations, this should be seen as an opportunity to create something new and exciting for the children. The true meaning of Christmas is, after all, not about opening presents on Christmas morning. Many parents want to share in the big day, particularly with younger children. It is important to think about how the arrangements will feel for the children. Deciding to hand the children over after lunch on Christmas Day is all well and good for the adults but for the child this means having to get dressed and leave behind the lovely presents they have only just opened. All too often as adults we fail to consider how arrangements we make for our children will feel for them.
If you need to settle the arrangements for your family get in touch regarding our mediation services. We can provide a structured environment to help you find solutions and where appropriate can meet with the children to seek their views too. If 2019 has been a difficult year for making arrangements get 2020 off to a good start by thinking about the whole year ahead and planning.
I am an experienced family lawyer and accredited mediator and can work with you and your family in several ways to bring about resolution.
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas.
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