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Christmas Access Arrangements

(75 Posts)
CannotFindAUsernme Fri 21-Dec-18 17:26:51

Hi all, just wondering what you all do for access of the kids at Christmas ? We only separated in August and things still feel very tender to me. I have split the Christmas holidays so that we have roughly half and half but am keeping the kids on Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Am I being really selfish ? The kids dont seem bothered by it, they are quite happy just to see him for half the time. He says its not enough though. I am not willing to sit alone on Christmas Day but I am also not ready to share it with him or have him in my house. Perhaps next year will be different but I am worried I am being selfish. Am I wrong ?

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eve34 Fri 21-Dec-18 17:52:43

If everyone is ok with the arrangement go with it. But you might need to prepare next year he expects it to be his turn.

It is my weekend before Christmas. I have said the children will be free after lunch Christmas Day. So half the day each. And from Boxing Day onwards I to his weekend. I have as yet not been told if he is taking them. But am happy that if next year he wishes to swap it round I will be ok with half day Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Who know what next year will bring.

AmyDowdensLeftLeftShoe Fri 21-Dec-18 18:36:02

The norm is to alternate years however you split Christmas and New Year. So if you have them all day Christmas day and Boxing Day then he has them on New Year. Then next year you swap over.

This is because it is in the interests of the children to do this and their right to share important holidays with each of their parents not your right as parents.

anniehm Fri 21-Dec-18 18:40:25

Whatever works for you - some spit the days, some do alternate years, others have former parents who don't want the kids and others like my friend goes to his ex wife (and her new husbands) house despite kids having left home (this is highly unusual)

CannotFindAUsernme Fri 21-Dec-18 19:37:27

@amy i know what you are saying, i just am finding this year very hard with it being so fresh. He does have them for 5 days over new years, its not like he isnt seeing them. I just couldnt have Christmas without them this year. Will see what the future holds. I would like to be able to invite him over to my house so no one misses out but just not ready for that either.

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AmyDowdensLeftLeftShoe Fri 21-Dec-18 20:02:06

I would suggest next year you ensure as early as possible e.g. around September/October you arrange to do something with someone or go somewhere for Christmas Day and Boxing Day, so when he has the children you are otherwise occupied. It will still be very hard but you won't screw your children up and/or cause them to resent you as adults by making them think you only live for them. I keep meeting people, mostly women, who refuse to have loads of contact with their mother partly because of this.

RagingWhoreBag Fri 21-Dec-18 20:09:43

Whatever you agree to, try to make it so that you’re happy with both ends of the agreement, as next year you could be in his position.

FWIW I know it’s hard the first year, but if you can let go of the specific day being so important and arrange things so that you both get some special time with them it will be fairer.

Depending on their ages, is it the Santa/stockings/excited morning part that’s most important? Or spending time with extended family etc? Boxing Day can be done on any date, it’s just another festive get together, so as long as your family are understanding there’s no reason you can’t have a traditional Boxing Day family get together on 28th or even Xmas eve.

Many people split the day eg kids with you Xmas eve and Xmas day lunch, then go to dads later and for Boxing day. Then reverse next year.

It’s not as bad as you think, especially if you have other family around.

We have exH here on Xmas morning and for lunch, then the kids choose if they want to stay with me later or go home with him. I’m usually knackered by then so happy to have some peace!

And the year they stayed at his Xmas eve and he did stockings was brilliant - I didn’t have to stay up late until they’d gone to sleep or wake at the crack of dawn. Bliss!

It’s hard adjusting to new routines but just try to remember it’s just a day. Christmas is a season and you can celebrate for a week or more, regardless of the number on the calendar.

Drawtheline14 Fri 21-Dec-18 20:21:06

We’ve agreed that every year I’ll have them Christmas Day and my ex will have them Boxing Day.
This works for us as my family have always had a traditional Christmas Eve family get together so it wouldn’t be possible for my ex to have them overnight and both of us agreed that we don’t want them missing out on that. Plus my ex has his family get together on Boxing Day so it works for us.
Not this year but the years after my ex will be picking them up Christmas Day evening so he can wake up with the kids Boxing Day.

Drawtheline14 Fri 21-Dec-18 20:24:13

Just to add that we’ve agreed I’ll have them every NYE and NYD too because other than a party in involving alcohol the kind not suitable for young kids on NYE my ex doesn’t do anything for it and my family always have a dinner NYD.

Have you thought about Easter etc? My ex hates Easter, so he said I can have them then. And i’ll have them Mother’s Day and he’ll have them every Father’s Day.

Flower64 Fri 21-Dec-18 23:33:54

My first ex and I share our girls. They stay with me xmas eve then go to him at lunchtime xmas day, back to me lunchtime Boxing Day and that suits us all. Then we alternate NYE and they spend mother’s day with me Father’s Day with him. Were very amicable tho

CannotFindAUsernme Sat 22-Dec-18 00:37:00

Can i ask everyone how long you have been separated ? We are not in a very amicable place at the minute. We have 4 kids, he wants 50/50 access. I have a lot of issues with his capability to do that. He has not contributed a penny to the cost of christmas (unless you count basic maintenance) and is trying to do me out of my share of the family home. All these things are making it difficult. Its been a crap year and no matter how you try to tell yourself different, christmas day is a special day. I have no real family about and all my friends have families of their own. Added to that I love to be with my kids on Christmas Day and all the little traditions that go with it. All these things are making it difficult for me not to be selfish

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CannotFindAUsernme Sat 22-Dec-18 00:41:12

I do however understand that it should be about the kids and not me. They have regular access on a normal basis and that has been since the start of the separation. I would not stop them from seeing him.

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TrippingTheVelvet Sat 22-Dec-18 00:48:33

Ask yourself honestly if you would be happy with it flipped around next year? Or is there a chance you'll get to next winter and say it's not fair you're not getting any of the big days?

I'm being honest because you asked and it's an anonymous forum - it sounds like this is to suit you and on the face of it it's not fair for the kids and their dad not to see each other just so that you're not lonely or have to put up with him....

AmyDowdensLeftLeftShoe Sat 22-Dec-18 03:08:22

OP if you are having your (plural) children over this Christmas why does your ex have to contribute to what you (singular) want to give them? You are now separated from him and no longer a couple, therefore you both can choose individually what you get them and when you individually want to give it to them. In other words stop trying to micromanage the presents your ex gives or doesn't give your kids.

Drawtheline14 Sat 22-Dec-18 04:48:04

We’ve been separated for 8 months. We aren’t amicable at all anymore, we used to be but now all communication, pick ups and drops off goes through his partner now at my request.

I do understand how difficult it is but you have to detach yourself from the legal stuff, let a solicitor do the communication regarding that for you and don’t talk about it to each other face to face, it helps.
I understand that you like to be with them for traditional events but take this as an opportunity to make your own and new traditions.
Regarding 50/50 are the children old enough to ask if they want that? Was he an involved parent when you were together? Cause if not he may just be doing it to get out of maintenance. I wouldn’t suggest doing 50/50 for very young children cause it would involve a lot of switching houses for them as one week would be too long but if they are old enough maybe gradually increase it to 50:50 and see how they get on?

Then as for maintenance is he paying what he is expected to pay through the child maintenance calculator? If not go to the cms and sort that out. However, i’m unsure why he’d have to contribute towards Christmas as now you’re living separately you’re both responsible for the buying gifts, food etc individually now.
My ex wouldn’t even contribute towards our baby’s christening, or son’s birthday party so other than what he has to pay you for maintenance then I honestly would do everything independently.

Zerrin13 Sat 22-Dec-18 06:26:54

OP I think firstly you have to listen to the kids. If they are happy to stay with you on Christmas Day maybe he could have then Boxing Day afternoon? At least they all get to see eachother over the 2 day Xmas period.
As for him wanting 50/50 access. Only you know if his motives are driven by a genuine desire to parent his kids as much as possible or if he just thinks it's going to be cheaper than paying maintenance for 4 kids? You have said you are concerned about his ability to do this. Also trying to do you out of your share of the family home. He sounds like a bully. The only way you will hang on to what is yours is to stand up to him on all fronts. I know it's hard when emotions are involved but you have to be tough.

ChristmasFlary Sat 22-Dec-18 06:32:44

Ex husband left June 2017 so last Christmas was the first one. The children were adamant that they would be in their home for Christmas day.

I would see what they want to do. Mine were 10 and 14 though so old enough to choose.

ChristmasFlary Sat 22-Dec-18 06:35:43

Also as soon as he left l stopped doing wife work like buying gifts from us both.

Mondaytired Sat 22-Dec-18 06:36:20

On the flip side if your ex told you you couldn’t see your children on Xmas day and boxing day how would you feel??
You love spending time with them at Christmas , maybe he does too?
You say kids aren’t bothered, maybe they just don’t want to tell you?

Has he got presents for them at his? I can kind of see in a way why he might be less willing to contribute if he won’t see them open them which is the best part of Xmas. Maybe he is doing a late Xmas with them?

Moving forward it’s not unreasonable to look at 50/50, alternative Xmas’s. Starting planning your Xmas next year without the kids as he wouldn’t be unreasonable to except them to be at his house.

ayupducky Sat 22-Dec-18 07:04:32

OP you are right to do as you have for this year. It's still very raw and I don't blame you at all for wanting your children with you at Christmas.

However, please don't do as a PP suggested and deliberately book things for next Christmas at an early stage. If it were to go to court this would not be looked at favourably. Whilst they may agree that it would be wrong to disappoint the DC for that year by cancelling plans, they could then rectify this by ordering that they spend the next 2 Christmases with their father.

SnuggyBuggy Sat 22-Dec-18 07:11:27

How old are the kids and what do they want?

awesmum Sat 22-Dec-18 07:25:41

We 'split' October, he's still not fully moved out. DD2 he said me to have her Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day but he'll then want her the same next year. I have refused she's with me Christmas Eve and Christmas Day till 1pm then he has her. It's her Christmas Day and she loves her dad as much as I despise the pr**k. So I can spend the afternoon tidying and snoozing if I choose but she has a proper lovely day seeing people she loves. I know it's hard. But imagine how hard it will be next year, he may not want to come to you.
Sending you thanks

Toomanycats99 Sat 22-Dec-18 07:33:38

I separated 6 months ago. I am
Having them until just before lunchtime Christmas Day then they will see him. He is still living at his parents so they will come home Xmas day early evening. We live locally so I think splitting Xmas day works for now.

eve34 Sat 22-Dec-18 07:35:34

Each situation is different. You need to do right by the children. Sometimes that is very hard when you are hurting.

We separated nearly a year ago. Last Christmas we were together but he opted out of all the family stuff and went out to friends/ow

My two are 12/6. My eldest is refusing to see his dad. After some poor behaviour from ex

They both rather be here. This is their home. Ex has not made his place home for them. It is a shared house. There is no room for them.

He has the children eow. Not over night a they were sleeping on his bedroom floor. Eldest voted with his feet in the end. He does no more. No phone call etc between eow

He stopped paying child support in the summer. He owes me thousands Cms have messed up claim. I won't see any money until March. My heating broke. He still didn't give me any money

I only communicate via text now I'm so angry at him

Christmas is always going to be hard it's a time for family and I have lost half the family now. But slowly I get on with it. Making it special for the children.

I'm grateful I have had the lions share of Christmas. This weekend. Christmas Eve. And Christmas morning. I like to think I have been fair.

I hate everything about this. But am hoping next year I will not hurt so much. And will be guided by the children as to what they want to do

Sorry I have gone on. My thoughts are even as hard as it is for you is he able to maybe see the children teatime Christmas Day? Then bring them back. If it all goes to court you can show you are trying to be fair.

Hope it goes smoothly for you all

CannotFindAUsernme Sat 22-Dec-18 10:35:38

Honestly I find some of your responses harsh and quite bitter. I only mentioned no financial contribution as he is not planning a late Christmas nor has he got them presents, he is buying them nothing but yet wanted to have the kids for Christmas Day, and I just hand over to him what I had bought. Surely that is not acceptable behaviour ?
I am merely asking what people do, and yes some of you are better people than me, altgough we are separated over 3 months there have been many issues and I am finding it very difficult to be more generous to him than myself which is the only way he will be happy, when he gets more than me. He has been a bully and control freak and has never had any interest in the kids until we separated. 2 of my kids are autistic and he refuses to accept that autism exists, they are finding everything hard so I try to minimise upheaval as much as possible.
Thank you for your responses.

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