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With Halloween over, most of us are beginning to think about the festive season and spending time with our loved ones.

Unfortunately, for parents who are separated, arrangements for the children at Christmas can often cause a lot of heartache and stress.

Generally normal contact arrangements should be put on hold for the festive season and parents should discuss Christmas plans and proposals with their former partner in plenty of time. Planning ahead will give both parents time to come to a resolution and organise details like travel, visiting extended family, Christmas dinner and gifts.

If no agreement can be reached it is important that you obtain legal advice as soon as possible, particularly if the dispute requires resolution before the Court. At this time of the year Family Courts are dealing with an increased number of applications from parents specifically about Christmas contact and so it is important to send any application to the Court well in advance to ensure your case is listed and dealt with before Christmas.

Children’s memories of Christmas will remain forever and it is important that this time is made special despite separation. It is now very normal and acceptable for many families to divide their time with children at Christmas.

Edwards and Co can offer advice and support on all issues relating to contact and we aim to take a practical approach which is in the best interest of both parents and, most importantly of all, the children.

For more information please contact Carla Fraser in our Family and Matrimonial department.