Christmas is now two weeks away and stress levels will begin to rise as many of us panic about having everything ready for the big day. Statistics show that Christmas is the sixth most stressful life event we will experience, up there with divorce, moving house and changing jobs.
So, what happens if you’ve just gone through a divorce or separation and now you have to deal with Christmas too? Here are some top tips to keep your stress levels low and ensure a Christmas full of family fun this year.
The most important thing to remember when you’re planning your first Christmas after a separation or divorce is that all family plans are different and there is no right or wrong way to organise it.
All separations are different so while some may split amicably, others may be slightly more complicated so it is important to choose Christmas plans that will suit your circumstances.
Limit the disruption to your children
It is always emphasised during divorce proceedings that the children are most important so as far as possible, it is advised to try and keep Christmas plans as undisrupted as you can, especially with younger children. If your split was amicable, perhaps you could spend Christmas morning together as a family opening presents?
Don’t ask your children to choose between you
If your divorce or separation wasn’t amicable and you and your ex-partner have separate plans for Christmas day, don’t ask your children to choose who they would like to spend the day with. It is understandable that you will want your children to have a choice as to which of you they see and when but this approach can often leave children feeling unnecessary pressure.
Make your plans in advance
As with many things in life, it is always advisable to have your Christmas plans set out in advance and to make sure everyone is on the same page. If you are still in the process of going through a divorce, make sure you’re not in court on Christmas Eve.
If your children can sense your tension and stress, the effects may rub off and result in them not enjoying Christmas. This could also lead to issues further down the line. So for the sake of the children, do try to stay positive. That positivity will also help reduce the stress for you and allow you to enjoy the festive period.
If you are going through a separation and would like assistance from a solicitor, get in touch with Farleys’ family team. Our family law specialists can give advice and represent you during court proceedings. We also run a free family law drop-in clinic at our Blackburn, Burnley and Accrington offices for out of hours legal advice from 4pm-6pm every Thursday. Call us today on 0333 331 4731 or complete our online contact form.