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Rachael Haine Divorce and Christmas: How to Make Contact Arrangements

Divorce and Christmas: How to make contact arrangements - Giles Wilson Solicitors

Rachael Haine talks about the importance of ensuring amicable contact arrangements during a divorce, especially during the holidays, and how Giles Wilson’s solicitors can assist families throughout Essex with dedicated legal advice.

It may only be October but Christmas will be here before we know it. This can be a tough time for children if their parents are separated as they may be dividing their time between two homes. If parents are not able to agree on contact arrangements, it can result in tense and emotional discussions, sometimes in front of the children, following which one parent is inevitably disappointed. 

It is difficult advice to give that, generally, the holidays are there to benefit the children, rather than the parents. Unfortunately, often one or both parents lose focus and turn discussions into a purely mathematical exercise to ensure they take exactly their 50% entitlement for each of the holidays. 

This does not always work on a practical level as it can involve the children to-ing and fro-ing or missing out on specific events that one parent has planned. It is important that this type of situation does not happen and the focus is on the children’s best interests when making custodial arrangements.

Problems can arise when one party wishes to take a child abroad. In these cases, the “left behind” parent can find it incredibly difficult being away from their children at these important times, especially for the first time.  Parents wanting to take their children abroad must remember to obtain the consent of each party with parental responsibility before they leave the country. Failure to do so is a criminal offence and could result in unnecessary court proceedings or criminal action. 

It is essential that the children remain in the forefront of everyone’s minds when discussions take place about the division of childcare both generally and during the school holidays. In our experience, the friendlier discussions on contact arrangements can remain, the more likely parents will remain focused on what is best for the children.

We understand that the court is not always the best place to settle your problems – especially due to the sensitive nature of divorce or separation issues. At Giles Wilson, our family solicitors are members of Resolution, which means we work towards dealing with matters in a non-confrontational manner and try to reach an amicable solution that works for all parties involved.

If you would like advice or help to resolve any separation disputes concerning children or your rights as a parent, contact our expert mediators to arrange a consultation at our offices in Leigh-on-Sea or Rochford.

Call us on 01702 477106, or email info@gileswilson.co.uk.


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The expertise of our solicitors is regularly recognised by some of the profession’s most distinguished organisations. As well as being a member of a number of Law Society schemes, we won awards at the 2015 Law Society Excellence Awards, the Halsbury Legal Awards and the Modern Law Awards. We have also received recognition in the form of the Lexcel mark of quality, a Legal 500 listing and a place on the shortlist of The Lawyer’s Boutique Firm of the Year.

Awards and Recognitions of Giles Wilson Awards and Recognitions of Giles Wilson