Parenting apart can be fraught with difficulty at the best of times, but never has the strain been felt more than over the Christmas holidays as emotions can be high.

Unfortunately most divorced parents face the hard decision of who will get to spend Christmas day with their children as spending the day together as a whole family is not always possible or sensible.

Although you may be disappointed that your ex partner gets to spend the day with your children there are a number of steps you can take to ensure your Christmas is just as memorable for both you and your children:

1) Plan in advance: arrange times and dates with your ex partner well in advance giving yourself a time to explain to your children the schedule over the holidays. Be supportive of the situation even if you are displeased by the arrangements, it is important your children sense no animosity between you and your ex spouse which could detract from them enjoying the Christmas cheer.

2) Take the opportunity to spend time with your own family: Old Christmas’ may have been spent at the in-laws or running around after the demands of over excited children, now is a time for you to rekindle relationships with your closest loved ones.

3) Let your children’s happiness shape your perspective: Christmas is a holiday for children, ensure they know that you want them to have a wonderful time; this may also help detract from your own feelings of sadness.

4) Create new memories and traditions: Just because you do not get to see your children on Christmas day it doesn’t mean the time you spend with them will be any less special. Take the opportunity to do something exciting and different.

5) Stay in contact: make sure you call regularly to see how they are doing, listen to their needs and make sure they know you can’t wait to continue the Christmas festivities. Modern communication through Skype, FaceTime or Twitter are excellent ways of keeping in touch during this period

6) Think about next year: should the arrangements for next year be the reverse of this year so that the arrangements are fair for both parents?

Christmas is a time for celebrating, it is important that you cherish and enjoy the time you have with your children rather than letting resentment towards an ex partner spoil both your and the childrens’ holiday.

If you require further advice please to not hesitate to get in contact with Farleys Solicitors specialist Family Law department. To speak to an experienced solicitor please call 0845 287 0939 or alternatively you can email us. For more information on parenting apart, click here.