Tips to Survive the Upcoming Christmas
For many of our family members and friends, this Christmas may be different, due to a recent relationship breakdown.
It is usual around this time of year for us to receive a spike of inquiries from people. Whilst they may have thought they had a solid relationship, with the added pressure that this season brings, things may not be as they had thought. “Cracks” in relationships are often aided by the consumption of alcohol over this time period, the coming together of extended family and also, everyone being worn out after surviving another year. As such, for those people who are in a relationship where the “cracks” are starting to appear, be very weary and don’t be afraid to seek the help of a counsellor in an attempt to avoid your relationship completely breaking down and as a result, separating.
For others, where they have already separated, Christmas does not have to be a period of time that you have to endure, but one that you can enjoy and for this we have outlined some practical tips which may assist in this process.
If you have not already made arrangements for the time that the children are spending with each parent on Christmas Day and the holiday period, do so now. Coming into contact with your ex-partner on Christmas Day and the Christmas period generally, is not always the best experience, but it is made easier if both parents know the time and place of changeover. Further, the less that you and your ex-partner have to discuss details surrounding time arrangements during this period, the better, as it means that there is less chance for any arguments arising. In some circumstances, it is a good idea to have a family member attend changeover on your behalf, provided the other parent is aware of them attending, so you do not have to come into contact with your ex-partner.
Make sure that the children know where they will be spending Christmas and what they will be doing. This is particularly relevant if it is the first Christmas after separation. The Children need to know that things will be done a little different due to the separation, but they need to be assured that no matter what, they have two parents who love them very much.
Keep your Children in Mind
This seems to be a “no-brainer”; however, we often see parents embroiled in conflict to the detriment of the children. Christmas is a time where children should be children, a time of joy and excitement. Don’t spoil this by arguing with your ex-partner. Despite your issues with your ex-partner, try to have a business-like relationship together for the sake of the children, particularly at Christmas. Children are very perceptive, and it is imperative that they are shielded from any issues between their parents, particularly around this time of year.
Put the Phone Away
It is important to remember that your text messages and telephone calls, may be viewed as harassing by your ex-partner. We see, on occasions where one party has had a little too much to drink and they start contacting their ex-partner and often on more than one occasion. Be careful, as such uninvited advances may be viewed as domestic violence and may be grounds for a Protection Order to be made against you.
Look after Yourself
During the Christmas period, it can be difficult to obtain legal advice due to the closure of Law Firms and the Courts. Some organisations which may be able to assist in providing support over the Christmas period, depending on the needs of the individual, include:
DV Connect 1800 811 811
Salvation Army 13 72 58
If you or a family member have any questions, please contact one of our Gold Coast or Logan Family Lawyers on (07) 5679 8016 for free 15 minutes of legal advice.