Christmas Day is often a day celebrated with families, and a lot of children may be sharing their day in between their separated parent’s homes. For some separating parents, they may already have in place a Court Order in respect to how the child or children’s time is to be spent between them on Christmas Day and/or during the Christmas school holiday period. For those who do not have a Court Order, this period of time may be stressful due to the uncertainty of the parenting arrangements and whether a dispute may arise on what would otherwise be a very happy and significant occasion for the family. Even if there are parenting Orders in place conflict may still arise if a parent contravenes such a parenting Order (with or without a reasonable excuse) and there may be a dispute in respect to the interpretation of the Order.
There is no general rule in respect to how Christmas Day and/or the school holiday period should be shared. Each family is different and may celebrate Christmas differently. Instead of Christmas Day, some families may celebrate on Christmas Eve or instead, get together with extended family members on Boxing Day. Parents may also decide that rather than splitting Christmas Day, that each parent spend time with the child or children in alternate years, so that every year one parent has uninterrupted time on Christmas Day.
If you seek parenting advice or a dispute arises over this Christmas period of time, our offices are open (except on public holidays), one of our family law solicitors will be available to answer queries you may have.