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Child Contact Arrangement For The Christmas Period

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Child Contact Arrangements For The Christmas Period

Some may say it is too early to consider the festive season since pumpkin carving has just happened. Nevertheless, the navigation of family arrangements is always difficult and further complicated for separated parents in the run up to Christmas.

When determining how time for children should be divided between parents and making contact decisions, Scottish courts must consider the welfare of the child or children above all else. 

Tips For Making Child Arrangements For Christmas Contact

There is no 'normal' arrangement for Christmas contact and so what this looks like will vary from family to family.  Christmas arrangements could differ depending on the current age of the child and what stages they are at. For instance, a younger child may be concerned that Santa won't find them if they aren't at their main house. Old children will often express views as to where they wish to spend time and the law provides great consideration to the opinion of children.

What is in the best interests of the children should always be the primary focus and unless there are significant current risks to the children, children should have time with both parents over the festive period where possible. The specifics are particular to each family. Some children will spend Christmas Eve, a portion of Christmas Day, and Boxing Day with one parent, and the remaining portion of Christmas Day and Boxing Day with the other parent. Other families will have week one of the holidays with one parent and week two with the other. The arrangements can alternate annually, or parents can create a new plan every year, whichever works best for them. In reflecting on what schedule works best, the parents' hours at work might have to be considered. If the children can't see both parents during the season, it is suggested that video or phone calls be arranged to ensure indirect contact to all parents to be involved with their children during the festive period.

Mediation or Litigation Through A Solicitor

While most families will celebrate Christmas at home, if one parent wants to have a more exotic festive period and head abroad, they must obtain the permission of the other parent before jetting off.

If parents cannot agree on how to share the time, it may be beneficial to consult with a Family Law Solicitor. Although discussion between the parties (or their solicitors) can resolve matters, there are instances in which other approaches are necessary. Consider mediation, which permits the exploration of ideas in a secure environment. If mediation is unsuitable and negotiation is impossible, litigation could prove necessary. Given the time limitations of the court, legal advice must be obtained promptly.

Legal Advice from a Family Lawyer

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