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Published On: November 14, 2023 | Blog | 0 comments

Christmas and the New Year with your child after separation – Family law guide

Christmas for separated families is burdened with emotional complexities, especially when thinking about spending the holidays with your children. This family law guide will help you navigate through post-separation arrangements with your children for Christmas. 

Navigating First Christmas and Relationship Changes

Financial Management Strategies: 

  • Budget Planning: Create a budget that accommodates the added expenses of the festive season. This helps in avoiding financial overstretch. 
  • Asset Management: Managing assets and child arrangements during Christmas after a divorce can be challenging, so plan ahead. For instance, agree on a budget for gifts to avoid competition or one parent outspending the other. For more guidance on managing finances and assets during separation, read more about our services around financial settlements after separation.

Addressing Domestic Issues: 

  • Rise in Domestic Challenges: The festive period often sees a spike in domestic disputes. Be vigilant and proactive in addressing any signs of conflict. If you are experiencing domestic abuse, we will take urgent action to protect you and your children. Learn more about our services around domestic abuse and injunctions.
  • Legal Support: In cases of domestic violence or aggressive behaviour, immediate legal intervention is necessary. Explore Anthony Gold’s specialised legal support for protective measures and legal rights. 

Dealing with Substance Misuse: 

  • Seeking Support: If facing challenges with alcohol or substance misuse, it is crucial to get help. This includes counselling or legal advice to ensure the safety and well-being of the children involved. 


Planning and Preparation for Child Contact Arrangements

Steps for Effective Planning: 

  • Discussion with Ex-Partner: Initiate conversations early about holiday plans. This helps in setting clear expectations and reducing conflicts. 
  • Agreeing on Holiday Spending: Decide where and with whom the children will spend different parts of the holiday. Consider the children’s preferences and comfort. 
  • Importance of Flexibility: Be prepared to adapt plans if necessary, maintaining a focus on what is best for the children. 
  • Ensuring a Joyful Experience for Children: The primary goal is to ensure children enjoy the festive season despite the separation. Avoid involving them in any disputes. 

For further guidance, visit Anthony Gold’s child arrangement agreements page. 

Christmas Travel for Separated Parents

Legal Considerations and Preparations: 

  • Understanding Legalities: Be aware of the legal requirements around travelling with children post-separation. This includes having the appropriate consent from the other parent. 
  • Travel Documentation: Ensure all necessary travel documents for the children are in order, including passports and any required visas. 
  • International Travel Considerations: When planning international travel, consult Anthony Gold’s International Arrangements section for detailed advice on cross-border travel with children. 


Securing Consent from Those with Parental Responsibility 

  • Legal Requirement: Obtaining consent from all individuals with parental responsibility is a legal necessity, not just a formality. This is particularly crucial for international travel. 
  • Avoid Legal Ramifications: Travelling without the proper consent can lead to legal consequences, including allegations of child abduction. 

For more information on navigating these situations, visit Anthony Gold’s page on international arrangements. 


Understanding Court Orders for Travel

When parental consent for travel cannot be obtained amicably, it becomes necessary to understand the legal avenues available. 

Types of Court Orders: 

  • Child Arrangements Order: This order determines with whom a child will live, spend time, or have contact. It can include specific provisions for holidays and travel. 
  • Specific Issue Order: If there is a disagreement on a specific matter like international travel, this order can resolve it. It is used to determine a particular aspect of a child’s upbringing, such as whether they can travel abroad. 

Steps to Obtain a Court Order: 

  1. Legal Consultation: Before applying for a court order, seek legal advice to understand the best course of action.
  2. Application Process: The process involves filling out specific forms and providing evidence to support your case. 
  3. Court Hearing: Both parties will present their case in a hearing, after which the court will make a decision.  

For more details on these orders and the process, Anthony Gold’s expertise in matters involving child arrangements can be a valuable resource. 


Impact of COVID-19 on Christmas Arrangements and Travel

Even though we have been out of lockdown for a while, the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly altered the landscape of travel and holiday arrangements, particularly for separated families. 

Considerations for Safe Travel: 

  • Travel Restrictions: Stay updated on the latest COVID-19 travel restrictions and guidelines, both locally and for your destination. 
  • Health Precautions: Ensure all necessary health precautions are taken, including COVID-19 testing and wearing protective gear during travel. 
  • Quarantine and Testing: Be aware of the quarantine requirements and the validity of COVID-19 tests in different jurisdictions. 

Assessing Risk Factors: 

  • Local and Destination Risks: Evaluate the COVID-19 risk both in your local area and at your intended destination to make informed travel decisions. 
  • Emergency Planning: Have a contingency plan for any COVID-19-related emergencies that might arise during travel. 


Alternative Dispute Resolution and Legal Advice

When disagreements over Christmas arrangements or travel plans arise, it is beneficial to consider alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods before opting for court proceedings. 

Exploring alternative dispute resolution options: 

  • Mediation: This involves a neutral mediator who helps both parties reach an agreement. It is less adversarial and can be more efficient than court proceedings. Learn more about our Family Mediation services.
  • Collaborative Law: A process where both parties, along with their solicitors, work together to resolve their differences outside of court. Learn more about Collaborative practice.
  • Arbitration: This process involves settling the dispute (finance or children) without having to go to court. However, the arbitration award is just like a court order, ie it is binding. Learn more about Arbitration.
  • One Solicitor Solution: This method of dispute resolution works well where the parties are reasonably amicable and do not wish to spend family funds on two solicitors. Learn more about one-solicitor solutions.

For insights into these non-court options, explore the Mediation and Non-Court Options section on the Anthony Gold website. 

Seeking Early Legal Advice: 

If court proceedings become unavoidable, early legal advice is crucial. It ensures that you are aware of your legal rights and prepares you for the court process. This guidance can be pivotal in navigating the complexities of family law effectively. 

Practical Tips for Parents and New Year’s Resolutions

As the festive season and the New Year approaches, it is an opportune time for parents undergoing separation to focus on constructive and positive changes. Here are some practical tips and ideas for New Year’s resolutions: 

Communicating with your ex-partner:

  • Start dialogues early: Discuss plans and potential resolutions for the New Year well in advance. 
  • Constructive communication: Aim for open and positive communication to settle any disagreements amicably. 

Focusing on the children: 

  • Prioritise your child’s well-being: Always keep the emotional and physical well-being of the children in mind. 
  • Positive Environment: Maintain a positive and encouraging demeanor around the children to foster a supportive environment. 

Personal growth and New Year’s resolutions: 

  • Self-Care: Dedicate time to personal care and well-being. 
  • New Interests: Consider taking up new hobbies or interests. 
  • Engagement with Children: Strive to be more present and engaged in your children’s lives. 

These tips not only aid in navigating the challenges of separation but also pave the way for a positive start to the New Year. 

Role and expertise of Anthony Gold Solicitors 

Anthony Gold Solicitors is dedicated to assisting individuals navigating the complexities of family breakdowns, specialising in child arrangements and international travel. Our team of family law experts provides comprehensive support and information to help you through these challenging times. 

Free Initial Consultation

Understanding the intricacies of family law and its emotional toll, Anthony Gold Solicitors offer a free 20-minute consultation for new clients. This consultation can be a valuable opportunity to discuss your situation and explore your legal options with a specialist. Book your free consultation now.


* Disclaimer: The information on the Anthony Gold website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. It is provided without any representations or warranties, express or implied.*

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