Coping at Christmas

Tuesday, 15 November 2016 | Sharan Bhinder-Dhonsi

The festive season should be a time of celebration and joy but it can be difficult if you are separated from your children. If you are separated and have not yet sought legal advice, you may be missing out on precious Christmas contact with your children.

If you are a parent, there is a legal presumption that (unless the contrary is shown) that the involvement of both parents in the child’s life will further the child’s welfare. It follows that you should be able to have contact with your children if there are no concerns about the children’s safety and welfare with you.

This can come as a surprise to many parents who assume that the amount of contact, if any that they are allowed to have with their children depends on what the other parent wants.

There is no minimum contact you should have with your children and similarly there is no limit to the amount of contact you should have either. Shared care arrangements are becoming increasingly common as the Courts recognise the increasing role both parents paly in their children’s lives. 

Arrangements to have contact with your children should be based on what is best for the children’s welfare and should take into account various factors, including but not limited to, the children’s ages, the parents accommodation, the children’s schooling, the children’s extracurricular commitments, etc.

Contact can be direct, where you spend time with the children, indirect where you speak to the children via telephone, letters or social media or commonly, a combination of both.

It is usual for parents to agree that the children will spend Christmas with one parent one year and the other parent the next year or alternatively that the children will spend Christmas morning with one parent and Christmas evening with the other parent. You can however agree whatever arrangements work best for your family. 

If you are having difficulties agreeing contact to see your children, you should get in touch with Ascot Lawyers to see how we can help.

We offer a free 30 minute consultation to all new potential family law clients. Within this consultation we can explain what the law says about arrangements for children and discuss your options to ensure that your children do not miss out on seeing you this Christmas.

You can book an appointment, Monday to Friday between 8.30am and 5.30pm by calling 01344 512 370 or emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We even offer Saturday appointments between 9am and 1pm so that you can see us without having to take time off work.