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Family Law Blog - 'Tis the Season to be civil

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School Fairs and Nativity Plays

If you have school aged children, the lead up to Christmas is always a really busy time.  There are nativity plays, school fairs and lots of other events. If you have separated from your partner, these times can be particularly difficult.

Try to think about what would work best for your children and for you.  Are you and your ex-partner comfortable attending the same events or do you need to decide that one of you will attend some events and the other parent will go to the rest?  If you are both at the same event, are you going to arrive and leave together, or meet up when you are there or simply keep your distance from each other?  It is usually best if children can see you being civil to each other rather than exchanging frosty looks across the room but a confrontation is never helpful.  Try to put to one side any other issues that may be going on between you at the time and concentrate on just being there for your children at that particular event.

If one or both of you have new partners think about whether those new partners are going to be at the event as well.  If you all get on well that may be perfectly comfortable for the children.  If the situation is more tense, will the attendance of new partners create an additional layer of conflict and make the situation more fraught for the children?  Try to anticipate the situations that may arise.  How will you react if your child wants you to sit together or if you see your child being affectionate towards your ex-spouse’s new partner?  If you have thought through some of these scenarios before hand, you can try to think about how you might react.  Whilst that does not change the fact that you may be completely thrown by your emotions on the day, there is more of a chance that you will react in a way that you could feel proud of later.

Above all, try to remember how important it is for your children to know that it is okay for them to love both parents.

If you need any help in coming to arrangements for your children to share their time between you and your ex-partner, please do not hesitate to contact us for more detailed advice.

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