One of the heart wrenching family issues we come against this time of year is helping clients reach agreements regarding child custody over Christmas.
This week Laura Buchan discussed how best to approach this issue with common sense and a little bit of logic with Jacqueline Mensah and Sarah Pennicott of Bennett Griffin LLP Solicitors on their Family Matters podcast.
There discussion covered all the elements involved in deciding the fairest arrangements for children so they can spend time with their parents over Christmas whether they live far apart or just around the corner as well as how much of a say the children themselves have and how custody impact extended family like grandparents.
More crucially they look at the options if parents can’t agree, from further discussion, negotiation, and mediation through to the relevant Court applications.
There conclusions can be summarised as:
- Success relies on communication
Everyone involved needs to be prepared to have open conversations, not only about arrangements but also about things like gifts to avoid duplication.
- Be honest about what you want to happen
The best arrangements are reached when everyone understands what the other wants and why.
- Be fair and willing to compromise
Arrangements often alternate so know that if you feel like you are getting the raw deal one year, the arrangement will probably switch back in your favour the following year.
And above all, always consider the impact your decisions will have on your children.
But this summary only skims the surface so you can catch up with everything Laura, Jacqueline and Sarah had to say here.