There is no doubt that Christmas is an expensive time of the year for all parents, but finances tend to become more stretched for those that have recently separated. Separated parents may now have the added cost of keeping two separate homes, potentially two Christmas dinners and two sets of presents.
It is really important that, despite any acrimony there may be, parents take a practical approach to Christmas, as this will only be in the best interests of the children. Parents should liaise with one another regarding gifts to avoid duplication and discuss in advance how the larger expenses will be divided.
A parent without the main day-to-day care of a child may have already agreed child maintenance or entered into an arrangement with the Child Maintenance Enforcement Division. Child maintenance covers the cost of the everyday care of the child, such as food, clothing and housing. Although a parent paying Child Maintenance cannot be directed to make additional payments for Christmas expenses, parents should discuss their willingness/ability to contribute to additional expenses to avoid one parent carrying the burden.
Children’s memories of Christmas will remain forever and it is important that this time is made special, despite separation.
Edwards and Co. can offer advice and support on all issues relating to child maintenance and we aim to take a practical approach which is in the best interest of both parents and, most important of all, the children. For more information please contact Carla Fraser in our Family and Matrimonial department.