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The festive season is an important time for families and especially for young children, it is a magical time of the year. Usually, when children are off on their Christmas break, arrangements between parents can be emotional and difficult to plan, but this year the pandemic and the government’s measures have created even more uncertainty for separated families.

While the current guidance is that social contact restrictions will be changed for a short period of time, it is still likely that restrictions and social distancing could affect your plans.

From the 23rd to the 27th of December, the government is going to allow families to form a Christmas bubble composed of people from no more than three households and to travel between tiers in the UK to meet your Christmas bubble.

However, if you form a Christmas bubble, you should not meet socially with other family and friends. Unfortunately, the more people you see, the more likely it is to spread the virus. Therefore, separated parents must work out their contact arrangements for the holiday season as early as possible.

Be flexible

Even if you have already made your arrangements, it’s worth double-checking your plans as to where your children will spend their time between the 23rd to the 27th and where will they be before and after.

It is worth keeping in mind that there should be room for flexibility. This year is like no other, and we all might have to make some last-minute adjustments, for example, if your ex-partner needs to isolate.

The government has advised that if someone from the same household is experiencing symptoms of Coronavirus, then the entire household must self-isolate. If your children are in the same household with someone who has symptoms, they must also self-isolate.

If one of the parents is a key worker, it is advised that the children stay with the parent that is at home or working from home.

Communication is key

If you are unhappy with the arrangements following the latest government guidelines, make sure to communicate with your ex-partner and ask your children (if they are old enough) what they would like to do.

We understand you want to spend this time of the year with your children and family, but kids come first and by having a conversation with them you will get a better idea of what would make them happy.

Stay in contact virtually

Stay in contact with your ex-partner whether the children are with you or with them. It is in the children’s best interest to have contact with both parents and other family members during Christmas. Use creative virtual ways to maintain contact from a distance and celebrate Christmas.

If you are finding it hard to communicate with your ex-partner and need some advice from our experienced family law solicitors, please get in touch via our contact form for more information on family arrangements and parental rights.

Read the Government’s guidance for making a Christmas bubble.