1st Nov 2016

Can Family Mediation make sure you have a Merry Christmas?

For families no longer living under the same roof, Christmas can bring it’s equal share of happiness and heart ache. Eminent Family Law Practitioner, Sarah Smith explains why a mediated agreement on family arrangements can be vital to ensure a Happy Christmas. 


So we’ve done Hallowe’en.  And now we can officially eat mince pies and start talking about Christmas, right?  Well that’s kind of how it works in my simple brain.

I hate all those countdown to Christmas things.  Always looking ahead misses the joy of the moment and 2016 has been a particularly spectacular autumn.  But, in all honesty, I know only too well how time seems to race from now to 25th December and we all know that Santa’s little helpers are pretty busy on his lists only.  So amidst the autumn leaves, there is need for Christmas planning.

What fills the run up to Christmas in my working life is where ‘little Johnny’ spends Christmas this year.  For separated parents it’s a tough subject!

I’ve been a family lawyer now for over 20 years and a family mediator for the last five or so of those.  What fills the run up to Christmas in my working life is where ‘little Johnny’ spends Christmas this year.  For separated parents it’s a tough subject!  One temptation is to ignore it, in the hope that it will resolve itself.  That doesn’t tend to work, especially where there are extended family members who want to make their plans too.  Or some parents come out fighting; “it’s Christmas with me, end of subject”.  That doesn’t tend to make for a Happy Christmas either.  Even if you have the cash to spare on litigation, the courts are unlikely to fit in a hearing on short notice and Christmas might have come and gone before you get any (New Year’s?) resolution. And what about the kids?  What do they want!?

What I can say from experience is, if it doesn’t get resolved soon, then anguish, anger and last minute alterations will follow - and there won’t be a Merry Christmas or a Happy New Year for anyone.

Third View mediation services are specifically designed to help families sort out their Christmas plans

I know there is a way of doing this and I’d like to help.  I’ve helped lots of families in the past but it’s often rushed and often fractious.  So this year, working with our specialist partner, Third View Mediation we are being proactive.  From 1st November (All Saints Day!) until local schools finish for the Christmas break, Third View is offering mediation services specifically to help families sort out their Christmas plans.  Mediation sessions at your convenience and focused on finding solutions for your family – at a fraction of the cost or the hassle of the usual arguments. 

Sound more like a “Happy Christmas”?  If this is something your family or one you know would benefit from contact Third View mediation via Kirsty Campbell on 01423 543 100 or email us now

Sarah Smith is an Eminent Practitioner in her field as Collaboratively Trained Family Lawyer at Berwins Solicitors and a Family Mediator at Third View Mediation.  

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