Christmas can be stressful for separated families. Mediation can help.
Christmas is meant to be a joyful time of year, but for separated families the festive holidays can be very difficult. There can be many issues that need to be resolved to try and ensure the period is as enjoyable as possible for the adults, and most importantly the children.
Often the greatest stress is working out how the children will spend their time over Christmas- How will the holiday be shared? Will Christmas day be split? Or alternated? When will each parent get to see the children? What about extended family who may also be used to seeing them? How much travel will this create for the children?
These are issues that are regularly discussed at mediation with the aim of reaching a child focused plan that will enable both parents to feel a fair solution has been achieved. Other issues can include present buying, New Year arrangements and how the children may cope if this is their first Christmas in two homes, an issue which can be as difficult for the parents.
As a mediator, I am always keen to discuss special events and arrangements when talking about the future arrangements for the children and involving the children in this (Child Inclusive Mediation) when appropriate. Ideally the arrangements are planned well in advance so that everyone can make plans that work within the structure agreed.
Sometimes, when this issue cannot be agreed in good time, parents can feel under pressure and the issue becomes litigated or resolved through legal correspondence, both of which can be expensive and stressful options. To avoid this (particularly where there may not be time for a court application before Christmas) mediation can be a great option to discuss the plans in a child focused environment.
If you would like more information about family mediation or child inclusive mediation, please do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 0800 2062258.