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    Avoiding Mrs Doubtfire at Christmas

    The last thing you need in the lead up to Christmas are arguments or misunderstandings over the parenting arrangements for Christmas.

    Parents agree the sharing of school holiday time but sometimes overlook to agree specific arrangements in relation to celebrating Christmas Day.  If the breakdown of the relationship is such that the parents spending Christmas Day together with the child/ren is unworkable then try and remember that Christmas should be about making the child/ren’s experience enjoyable and memorable and devoid of stress.

    The parents should try to negotiate arrangements that work well for everyone such as a Christmas lunch with one parent and Christmas dinner in the company of the other parent. This can be sold to children as two Christmas celebrations rather than just the normal one.

    Whatever you negotiate remember not to expect Christmas Day to be the same as in past years and make allowances for this. Rather than becoming stressed and resentful if you have had to give way in the negotiation process, embrace the change and find a way to celebrate the new circumstance.

    If the children are mature enough consider involving them in the decision-making process. They are most likely experiencing stress as well and by giving them a say it allows them a sense of control of the situation.

    If all else fails and you cannot reach an amicable agreement with your “Ex” over suitable arrangements, consider involving a third party to help you to achieve a satisfactory outcome.  & Legal can assist you to arrive at a parenting plan which outlines the periods children will spend with each parent.

    Having an experienced solicitor assist you in navigating the process could ensure that you avoid that Mrs Doubtfire situation at Christmas!

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