As the holiday season arrives, many families will be working out how to navigate Christmas as a
separated family for the first time. Here are some tips that we think will help you make this big
Although Christmas feels far away now, we all know just how quickly the last month of the year goes.
In order to minimise the chances for conflict around Christmas, it is essential to plan where the
children will stay throughout the holiday period. A clear plan can mean parents have peace of mind
and children can maintain structure and certainty.
As you make holiday plans, it is essential that you keep the interests of the child before your own.
Although you might really want a solid 2 weeks over Christmas with your children, it is important to
make sure your children have time to spend with the other parent as well.
Be Ready for Change
Parents need to be prepared to accept that Christmas will be different this time around so that they
can support their children as they also deal with the changes. Where appropriate, it may be worth
involving older kids in the discussions about how Christmas will work so that they can voice the things
that are important to them.
In all relationships, communication is essential. Christmas will generally mean a brief change in
schedule for separated families and so it is important that parents clearly communicate so as to avoid
any conflicts. Plans to go away, dates for Christmas celebrations and even present budgets may need
to be shared to make sure both parents are kept informed and aware of how the Christmas period will
work for them and their children.
Plan for "Good Enough"
Finally, parents should make their own expectations of Christmas are reasonable. Parents should be
aiming to make plans that are ‘good enough’, not perfect. Expectations that are set too high often lead
to more conflict and greater disappointment. Though perfection is ideal, good enough is realistic.
If you need any advice on how you might plan for Christmas as a separated family, or need any other
family law related advice, contact Frank Law on (02) 9688 6023.
This is not legal advice.