Christ­mas Is A Time For Shar­ing

He­len Benussi, Di­rec­tor at Benussi & Co Ltd, Di­vorce and Fam­ily Law firm, looks at ways to man­age dur­ing a di­vorced fam­ily Christ­mas.

Cotswold Life - - PROMOTION -

Christ­mas con­jures up im­ages of chil­dren’s laugh­ter, sleigh bells and fam­ily gath­er­ings, but for di­vorced cou­ples with chil­dren, the pic­ture can be starkly dif­fer­ent.

The fes­tive sea­son is a fran­tic time even for the hap­pi­est of fam­i­lies. For those cop­ing with sep­a­ra­tion it can be a fright­en­ing prospect with feel­ings of guilt, frus­tra­tion and anger all sur­fac­ing.

In our ex­pe­ri­ence, tak­ing a bal­anced view with a pos­i­tive ap­proach will al­low chil­dren the op­por­tu­nity to share their par­ents, mak­ing a calmer, hap­pier fes­tive sea­son.

If it is the first time that Christ­mas will be spent away from your chil­dren, we en­cour­age you to make mem­o­ries rather than fo­cus­ing on the date it­self.

It is nat­u­ral that the part­ner who will not be in­volved on Christ­mas Day will feel the sep­a­ra­tion deeply, par­tic­u­larly at the most fam­ily-ori­ented time of the year. Be­ing able to keep busy and plan around the date has helped many of our clients to cope with shar­ing chil­dren at this time.

There may be pres­sures from fam­ily and friends dur­ing the build up, but forc­ing the chil­dren to choose be­tween a par­ent is some­thing we would never ad­vise. Hand­ing the chil­dren over on Christ­mas Day is also not ad­vis­able. Chil­dren can find this very un­set­tling.

If there are two homes that want to cel­e­brate, but only one Christ­mas, it is wiser to di­vide the hol­i­days by lis­ten­ing to the chil­dren’s wishes first and fore­most. This can be planned well in ad­vance, so that every­one knows where they stand in good time.

It is not so much about what is fair to adults as keep­ing the chil­dren’s needs at the fore­front. Plan­ning an al­ter­na­tive Christ­mas well in ad­vance, gives every­one the time to ad­just to a new way to cel­e­brate.

There can be few things worse than war­ring par­ents for chil­dren. By con­trast, hav­ing two happy and peace­ful par­ents is far prefer­able to them.

If you are with­out the chil­dren try to plan some pos­i­tive events for your­self by vis­it­ing friends or catch­ing up with fam­ily who will look after you dur­ing this dif­fi­cult time.

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