It’s been a while, what with all the medical stuff – in a nutshell, there’s another operation to get through in January, then that should be IT. There’s no radiotherapy or chemo with melanoma as it doesn’t work, so I might try to get on a drugs trial ….sounds more fun than it is, probably. I just have to hope that there’s no recurrence. The longer I can go without, the better. It’s been three months now since the first operation, so that’s already good …..fingers crossed again please! In the meantime, for all those who stumble across my blog via Googling the word divorce, here’s something that might help if you’re facing your first Christmas post-split. And, even if you’re in a non-fractured family, these are guidelines that we could all try to keep in mind, as the games of Monopoly get more hectic and there’s the usual arty-bargy over possession of the TV remote. Have a lovely Christmas, everyone, and a big thank you to Jenny Beck, the Co-operative Legal Services head of family law, for her sensible and insightful dos and don’ts.
Whatever your Christmas circumstances, have a lovely day tomorrow. I wish you love and happiness - and chocolate coins of course.
• Communicate with your ex – it’s important that plans are laid out and everyone is well aware of arrangements for each day over the festive period in advance of them happening. • Try to be as amicable with your ex over the festive period as possible. Children pick up on tension and Christmas is their time. • Encourage your child to spend time with both sets of extended family over the festive period. • Keep each other’s budgets in mind when buying presents and arranging days out over the festive period so that there is no imbalance. • Invest in a shared wall calendar for next year - a wall calendar can be extremely useful when planning where your child will be from one week to the next. It’s also beneficial for the child to see where they will be each week and what they will be doing. DON’T: • Where possible, do not change plans last minute. Children need to feel secure and should know in advance when they are seeing each of you and their extended families. • Phone or text your ex after you’ve had a few drinks – you’ll end up arguing and that is not in anyone’s best interest especially not your child’s. • Talk negatively about your ex in front of your children – they are still your child’s parent at the end of the day and should continue to be a big part of their life. • Take your child abroad without your ex’s permission – it’s unfair to both your child and your ex-partner. • Stop your child from spending time with their extended family – its beneficial for your child to spend time with extended family and grandparents can make really great babysitters. • Introduce new partners to children over the festive period, it can cause more upset than you can possibly imagine. The Co-operative Legal Services has a free co-parenting pack which you might like to take a look at.