The ‘Christmas’ Conundrum- a Family Lawyers perspective by Tanya Bloomfield

I know, I know it’s ‘only October!’ but we are starting the countdown and the Christmas gifts have appeared in the shops.

I am talking about this now because it needs to be looked at sooner rather than later.

How the Christmas holidays are split is a tricky issue between some separated parents. There is no right or wrong answer. The Law doesn’t tell us what to do, in fact the Children Act which is the Law dealing with this issue doesn’t say anything about Christmas.

From my own experience there are lots of different ways that separated parents can try and agree this. There are lots of things to take into account; what families usually do, how far parents live from each other, the ages of the child(ren) etc.

Some of the ways that I have come across include

  • alternating Christmas eve/Christmas day,
  • splitting Christmas day (usually after lunch/mid afternoon),
  • being with one parent on Christmas day each year and the other every boxing day

These are just some of the ways I have seen cases be agreed or determined by the court but they are not the only solutions.

Ultimately what is right for your family depends on what is best for your child or children. I say again there is no right or wrong way.  What will be important to the child is seeing both of his/her parents and their extended families.

Christmas is a magical time for children but often the adults get more hung up on the time when all the children are concerned about is the presents!

As far as you are able, always try and come to an agreement. Ultimately you both know what is best for your family. If you can’t reach an agreement and/or are unable to communicate well about it then you might need some help.

If you can avoid going to court to ask a Judge to make a decision. They will come up with what they think is best but it might not be what either parent wants or what you think is best for your child.

At Clark Willis we can offer you different ways of trying to sort things out including advice from a Solicitor, Mediation and Collaborative practice. Contact us now if we can help  on 01325 281111 or find more information at

Tanya is a partner within the firm who specialises in Family cases. Tanya is also an accredited Family Mediator with the Family Mediation Council and Collaborative Practitioner trained by Resolution.

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