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Family Law

Surviving Marriage Separation At Christmas

Christmas should be the most magical time of year...but what if you've just separated from your partner? Read how to cope with separation at Xmas.

Surviving Marriage Separation At Christmas

Christmas should be the most magical time of year…but what if you’ve just separated from your partner?

If you’re a parent the first rule is to plan ahead. Your children and their happiness come first. Set expectations so your children know who they’re going to be with on Christmas Day and on Boxing Day.

That will involve:

  • when they’ll be changing houses
  • who’ll be picking them up or dropping them off
  • who else will be at the house – your ex’s new partner, their children and relatives
  • any possible changes to family traditions that your children used to enjoy before the separation.

Contact our family law solicitors for more advice on how to get through Christmas if you’re separated and are anxious about arrangements for your children.

Coping With Christmas When You’re Separated

By now you should have worked out all the logistics of your post-separation Christmas well in advance. But if not, it’s still not too late to make proper plans so the festive season runs smoothly for all concerned. It’s never too late to do the right thing.

Make plans and stick to them. It helps to write them down to avoid misunderstandings. Decide what you’re going to do and then do what you’ve decided. No unexpected U-turns.

Don’t try to ‘wing it’ – the last thing your children need is uncertainty after the two people they love most in the world have fallen out and gone their different ways. Don’t try to dress up disorganisation and unpredictability as ‘all part of the

Christmas surprise’. Be organised…even if your ex can sometimes make that difficult.

Talk to your former partner. Agree to get on at this important time of year for the sake of your children. And agree budgets – don’t try to score points by trying to outdo each other’s festive celebrations and presents for your children. It just breeds resentment and will make next Christmas harder to get through. 

For the sake of your kids, just grit your teeth, bite your tongue and hold it together for Christmas – even if you and your former partner had been doing precisely that for years until you couldn’t stand it anymore.

What If It’s Your First Christmas After Splitting Up?

No-one is suggesting that Christmas without your former partner is going to be easy. You’ll be feeling emotionally vulnerable – especially if they were the one who suggested breaking up.

Time will heal those feelings but for the moment you need to find ways to make the best of what is now your new life. Look after your emotional well-being by filling your time with things you enjoy in life.

If you have children, try and keep up as many of your family Christmas traditions as you can to help ease this transition to the new life you all now face.

Try to avoid spending time alone. If you don’t have kids, the company of friends and family will help you through this difficult time. Remember, you’re not imposing – they’ll be happy to see you. 

You may want to make a fresh start and do something new this Christmas.

But it’s not a good idea to throw caution to the wind and throw yourself headlong into devil-may-care party mode. Celebrate sensibly by all means but drowning your sorrows or searching for an instant rebound will not bring lasting, meaningful happiness.

Always remember that your behaviour could impact on how the finances are resolved when you get divorced. No-one is suggesting that you can’t be happy after such a testing time, but it pays to be careful.

Book A Free Or Fixed Fee Initial Chat

Need expert legal advice on how to cope during the festive season if you’re separated or are contemplating divorce? Book a free initial chat or fixed fee meeting with Lindsey Arnold.

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