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    23 November 2020

    Christmas is coming – Family Law: time to get organised before it is too late.

    Coronavirus has had an enormous impact on everyone’s daily lives and Christmas this year is likely to be very different to those we have enjoyed in the past.  Children will still be excited and separated parents will have the challenge of not only agreeing arrangements for their children but also complying with ever-changing Government guidelines.

    A Child Arrangement Order will usually address specific issues such as holiday arrangements, however, there are times when a informal agreement between parents is disputed when child arrangements cannot be agreed, parents often turn to the Family Courts to resolve these issues.  This year that may be very difficult to do.  Judges are working from home and staff in the Court office have been reduced. Existing applications are taking longer to deal with and if an application for Christmas arrangements is made, delays will be experienced.  A recent report claims that the Family Courts are at crisis point, with an increase of 44% in applications, compared to the previous year.

    Family Solicitor, Sally Harris, suggests that parents speak as soon as possible to see if arrangements can be agreed.  If an application to Court must be made, it should be issued sooner rather than later.  As this area of law is judged on a case by case basis, wait too long and you may be given a hearing date in the New Year long after the festivities have ended.

    Family Law, time to get organised with points to remember:

    • Communicate – Wherever possible remain amicable and take a co-operative approach to the process
    • Focus on the children’s needs – A Court will always look to put the children’s best interest first, make sure you are working with extended family to ensure your children’s needs are being met.
    • Plan ahead – a key part to organising Christmas is planning, do not leave arrangements to the last minute.

    Christmas is a magical time for both parents and children.  If the arrangements are settled everyone can start to look forward to a magical Christmas and a Happy New Year.

    Fixed Fee Appointments

     Steeles Law Family Solicitors offer an initial fixed fee meeting for £100.00 plus VAT for up to an hour.  If you are experiencing any issues with an ex-partner over arrangements for contact with your children this Christmas, then please do not hesitate to get in contact with us.  Please call the team on 01603 598000 or email family@steeleslaw.co.uk to book your appointment.

    The Family Law team has been sharing practical tips, legal updates and industry insights related to the Family sector.  See the news page links below for more information:

    *The information provided in this article is designed to provide useful information on the subject, not to provide specific legal advice.



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