The Christmas period can be very challenging for separated families. In addition to all the usual Christmas hype, you need to navigate your way through parenting arrangements, holidays, and meeting the expectations of your children, your former partner, and extended families. Often these additional stressors lead to heightened conflict. Consider following these simple PAUSE principles to survive the coming Christmas season.

Prepare

Take steps to commence negotiations with the other parent about arrangements for Christmas as soon as possible to avoid last minute planning coming to a head. It can be tricky to accommodate the plans of both parents and their respective extended families, particularly if travel is necessary, and this is best navigated with some time up your sleeve.

Advice

If you find that your preparations for parenting arrangements are not running smoothly in the lead up to the Christmas period, obtain some advice from a family lawyer to help support you in this process. There are a number of different arrangements that separated families can put in place over Christmas, and a family lawyer can help you to find an arrangement that works best for your family.

Understand

Remain child focused by remembering that it is important to your child to see the other parent and their extended family during the Christmas period. It will certainly not be in the children’s best interests to feel as if they are caught in the middle of a tug-of-war between their parents on such a special occasion.

Stop

Sometimes things just don’t go as planned and conflict can escalate, leaving you feeling frustrated and angry. In these situations, stop, and take a step back before engaging in arguments. If you wouldn’t say it in front of a Judge, than don’t say it, email it, or text it to your former partner.

Emergency

It can be daunting over the Christmas period if everything falls apart and you find yourself in a difficult situation while your family law firm is closed. Rest assured that as a client of Best Wilson Buckley Family Law, you will always have the support of our experienced family lawyers in emergency circumstances by contacting 0428 FAMILY.