With the big day fast approaching, you can see many families getting excited about Christmas, decorating the house, Christmas shopping, visiting Santa’s grotto and much more. Christmas is often described as the time of year where families get together.
However we cannot forget that Christmas can be more difficult for some families due to separation and divorce. This topic has been covered greatly in the news recently and we have found some really useful and interesting articles that we wanted to share with you which all focus on ensuring that children always have a fantastic Christmas no matter if the family is split or not.
Bristol Married Couples Staying Together ‘for the kids’
Christmas is such a happy time of year, a time for families to get together and the whole season is beloved by children. This clearly explains why so many parents wouldn’t want to ruin a Christmas for their children by getting divorced.
A recent study showed that almost 1 in 5 married couples in Bristol will stay together over the Christmas period, and that 37% said that they would hold off asking their other half for a divorce due to worries of how it will affect their children.
But could staying together have even more of a negative effect on children?
Find out more here about the fascinating results of this research and why staying together could have a worse effect.
Divorced Parents Warned About Settling on Christmas Visits
A “parental involvement provision” in section 11 of the Children and Families Act 2014 took effect on 22 October and applies to cases started on or after that date. It does not apply to cases already going through the courts prior to 22 October.
The Ministry of Justice has made it clear that the parental involvement provision is not about giving parents new ‘rights’ or providing for the equal division of children’s time spent with each parent. The change is intended to encourage parents to be more focused on children’s needs following separation and the role each parent has in the child’s life.
The new law means that the family courts will now presume that each parent’s involvement in the child’s life will further their welfare, as long as it is safe to presume this. There will still be some cases where involvement from both parents is not appropriate, and this new provision does nothing to prevent a court determining that. The needs of the child will still remain the paramount priority of the courts.
No child should have a parent excluded from their life without good reason. It is hoped that the new law will result in a culture shift and encourage all parents who are separating to focus on the needs of their child rather than what they want for themselves.
In reality the provision is unlikely to lead to any significant change to the current orders a court can make with regards to the arrangements for children after their parents separate. The definition of involvement is ‘some kind, either direct or indirect, but not any particular division of a child’s time’. However, the court now right from the outset of proceedings will be mindful that both parents should be involved in their children’s lives if possible.
Christmas can be a hard time for separated parents but as ever children do have to come first, these two articles from The Stourbridge News and Bromsgrove Advertiser revealed how a solicitor has been warning parents about failing to agree on Christmas plans could lead to legal action given the new parental involvement provision.
Successful Co-Parenting at Christmas
Whether you have just become separated or have been for some time, co-parenting can be a difficult process especially at special times of year like Christmas.
This interesting article discusses 6 points which parents should consider to ensure that you can manage co-parenting in the best possible way for your children.
The Split Family’s Guide to Celebrating Christmas
As ever in the run up to Christmas many people highlight just how important it is just to ensure that children can still have an enjoyable festive season even with separated parents.
You can find many news articles and guides with tips on how to ensure that your separation doesn’t dampen the Christmas spirit. We have found another great guide for parents, if you have only just separated or have been for a long time this can be tricky situation but children always come first for parents.
If you are in this situation or know someone who is then check out this guide.
How Can Mediation Help?
Discussing how to deal with big family celebrations like Christmas can be very painful and difficult for separated couples with children. Some couples are so upset and angry with each other that discussions always escalate into arguments and no compromise or resolution is reached. Mediation can be the perfect solution to resolve issues and problems between such couples. A mediator will offer neutral territory, an unbiased opinion and can often suggest solutions that parents may not have thought of as an option. If you experiencing difficulties with an ex-spouse or partner and want to find out more about our mediation services – please call us on 0117 924 3880.