HM Insights

Don't just wish for a Merry Christmas – why separated families should agree contact arrangements for children in advance

With Christmas being nine weeks away, many people would be forgiven for thinking there is more than enough time for sorting out everything that has to be done for then.

If, however, you have not managed to agree arrangements with an ex-partner in connection with contact with your children over the Christmas period, it is never too early to address this.

If you have not already sorted this out then you should give attention to it now as, if matters cannot be resolved swiftly, court action may require to be raised which can take some time to go through.

Family Law Scotland Lawyer Solicitor Christmas Separation Divorce Children Contact Access

If you are still to agree matters, it is beneficial for both you and your former partner and your children to raise this issue now. Christmas Day and indeed the Christmas period as a whole is undoubtedly a very special time of year for many people and it can reduce stress and give certainty to know what the family arrangements are going to be throughout that time.

Are there rules around Christmas contact with your children?

It is important to remember there is no strict rule as to what should happen at Christmas. No two families are the same. The important thing is that the arrangements that are made are in the best interests of the children.

If you encounter difficulties with your former partner when discussing arrangement, one option would be to attend mediation.

If you were still unable to agree matters then an application can be made to the court so that a sheriff can determine what the arrangements should be. The court's primary consideration will be what is in the best interests of the children.

If you are likely to require assistance regarding this matter then applications of this type can take time to get into court as the courts are busy in the lead up to Christmas.

Get in touch

Accordingly if you do wish to discuss this matter please contact one of our experienced family lawyers in good time.