Liz Davies Family Lawyer
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Ok so it’s that dreaded time of year when all the shops have put out their Christmas cards and wrapping paper and the windows look like a winter wonderland. For me it is far too early. My husband and eldest son have their birthdays in November and until they have passed I cannot even start to think about Christmas which is ironic because it is one subject I am raising with my clients now and have been for some weeks.
Each year I start addressing the issue of Christmas contact in October to make sure that the topic has been considered and hopefully arrangements have been made for the children to spend time with both parents over the festive period. Some clients have court orders already in place dealing with this and I am pleased to say in the case of one lady I acted for some years ago, she and her former partner are now on good terms and able to discuss matters over the telephone or even face to face. Some however do not have an order and have not thought about what should happen at Christmas.
There is enough to do around December without thinking at the last minute whether you are driving your children to or collecting them from your former partner on Christmas day. So here I go….plan ahead, start thinking about the arrangements now and if possible agreeing them with your former partner. This may be by email, phone call or meeting but get it sorted. If you would like the children on set days then discuss it now rather than wait until December and find out that those dates are not agreed. It will be too late then to start thinking about going to court to get an order or indeed trying to resolve matters through Mediation.
Alternatively speak to a family lawyer and have an initial letter sent now to see what response you get to your proposals for contact. It is a starting point and hopefully matters can be agreed without too much fuss.
Getting matters sorted now makes it one less thing to have to worry about over the Christmas period.
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