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Child Arrangement’s and Separation Over the Festive Period

11 January 2019

Sharon McKie

child arrangements

The decisions taken in divorce and separation can for some, unfortunately fall around the Christmas period – the time of year which is entirely focused on family and tradition.

This can put strain on married couples to want to stay together as a family for Christmas and is especially true for those with children. It has been revealed that couples often try to 'keep it together over Christmas' and will often wait until after the Christmas period to leave the family home. But is this healthy?

During the last week in November, Taylor Bracewell were supporters of ‘Good Divorce Week’.

It was here highlighted, that during divorce or separation, one of the biggest worries is likely to be about children; where they will live and how they will continue to have a meaningful relationship with both parents. 

Sharon McKie, head of the family department at Taylor Bracewell, has suggested the 3 main reasons why couples may choose to stay together over the festive period:

“For the majority of couples going through this difficult time, they will stay together for their children, to give the relationship one last chance, or to save awkward, stereotypical conversations at the dinner table”

Divorce and separation over the festive period may leave you unprepared for living arrangements and possibly child arrangements.

5th December 2018: “Cardi B announces split from husband”

Female artist Cardi B – real name Belcalis Almanzarhas, has recently made the decision to divorce her husband, after only one year of marriage.

Belcalis and her husband, Kiari Cephus, who’s stage name is Offset, have a five-month old daughter together.

She announced the break up and also said: “We are really good friends and we are really good business partners — he is always somebody that I run to talk to, and we have got a lot of love for each other…”

Granted that both Belcalis and Kiari wish to spend time with their child over the Christmas period, the same as other separated parents - child arrangements can be made. This can be simple if similar to Belcalis, her and the father of their child are on speaking terms. This makes the arrangements for the children so much easier.

However, whilst it would be ideal for parents to discuss matters directly and face to face, we appreciate and understand that this is often difficult, particularly when a separation is recent and emotions are high.

Whether you have a set child arrangement that your child spends Christmas day at one house and Boxing Day at the other, or perhaps separated parents agree that they will alternate each year, these arrangements are quite common and can work well for the children. Alternatively, many separated parents celebrate Christmas early so their child celebrates two special days.

Since April 2018, spouses have been able to complete their divorce application process using the internet, and figures show.

More than 23,000 online divorce applications have been made since the platform was introduced.

With that on Christmas Day, 13 people filed for divorce in England and Wales.

They were in fact among 455 online divorce applications submitted to HM Courts & Tribunals Service, between Christmas Eve and New Year's Day.

Figures show that twenty-six people submitted applications on Christmas Eve, 23 on Boxing Day and 77 on New Year's Day.


When it comes to applying for a divorce you must prove your marriage has broken down and give one of the following reasons:

  1. Adultery
  2. Unreasonable behavior
  3. Desertion
  4. You have lived apart for more than two years and both agree to the divorce
  5. You have lived apart for at least five years, even if your husband or wife disagrees


At Taylor Bracewell, we want to make the process of divorce or separation as straight-forward as possible.

If you have any queries or for help and guidance on separation, or for advice on Child Arrangement Orders including over future Christmas periods, please contact Sharon McKie – Taylor Bracewell’s Head of Family on 01302 965814. You can also email Sharon at

For further information on how we can help throughout the divorce and separation and child arrangements period get in touch today.