We understand that making child arrangements at Christmas time can often prove difficult for separated parents. Add into the mix a global pandemic, ever changing regulations and logistical challenges means arrangements for 2020 may be even harder to arrange.
The government rules have now been provided and currently state that up to three households will be allowed to stay together and form a ‘Christmas bubble’ from 23 to 27 December. Importantly, guidance also confirms that children may move between their respective households and are allowed to be part of two separate Christmas bubbles. This means that they can see both parents without being counted as part of another household.
More information about the Christmas restrictions can be found here: Christmas Covid rules: Who are you allowed to see? – BBC News.
In light of the guidance, my tips for managing child arrangements this Christmas are:
If you do not have plans in place it is important to firm up ideas and make plans as soon as possible. You need to speak with the other parent to agree arrangements that work for you all. How you decide to share the festive period really depends on what works for your family taking into account the age of your children and the location of your two households.
Whatever arrangements you agree, the sooner it is, the better it is for everyone.
This year it is important to ensure that you all consider additional safety requirements such as:
Consideration of the above points at an early stage means that everyone should be prepared for all possible eventualities.
Try to be flexible and understanding. As much as everyone wants to stick to agreed arrangements, there may be unavoidable reasons which mean that the plan has to change. This year, more than ever, it is important that you do your best to communicate with the other parent.
If, despite your best efforts, it has not been possible to reach an agreement with the other parent, I would recommend seeking advice as soon as possible. It may be that other forms of communication, such as through a mediator or a solicitor, will help an agreement be reached.