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December 10, 2014
Tips to Help Make Christmas Conflict Free

By Sue Holgate

For most of us, Christmas is a happy time. It is a time when family and friends get together to enjoy the festivities and take stock at the end of another hectic year.

But for families where parents are separated or divorced, Christmas can be a time of sadness, disappointment and disagreement. It is important to keep a level head and maintain focus on what is best for children over the holiday period.

My tips to ensure a conflict free festive season include:

1. Try sticking to arrangements you have agreed upon (or ordered by the Courts) for the children

If they have to be returned by 2pm after Christmas lunch, make sure they are, no matter how good a time you are having. Failure to abide by Court Orders can have serious consequences to the times parents may be able to see their children in future.

2. Don’t involve your children in disputes or conflicted situations

Behaving inappropriately in front of the children is another ‘no-no’ from the point of view of the Family Courts and can also have long-term ramifications on your children.

3. Ensure your children are protected from harm at all times

You are both parents and have a responsibility to ensure the children are not exposed to dangerous situations such as an un-fenced swimming pool, roads, animals or others who may not be in full control of their behavior.

4. Avoid arguments with the in-laws, no matter how irritating they may be

Conflict often has long-term and unfortunate consequences because everyone ends up taking sides.

5. Avoid arguing or fighting in front of your children

Christmas holidays are often a time of increased tension and conflict in families so it’s important to avoid situations that may tip things over the edge.

Contact Sue Holgate Partner at LBH on sholgate@lbandh.com.au