My ex won’t let me see our children over Christmas. What can I do?

Jennifer peebles portrait.

Jennifer Peebles


Phone 01264 325823


For a couple whose relationship has broken down, the idea of a ‘family Christmas’ isn’t the one it once was. While many successfully share time together, for others it’s a case of wrangling over who gets to see who on which days and for how long.

With the holidays just a few weeks away, these pressures will have ramped up for separated parents everywhere. For some, the idea of discussing arrangements with their ex may seem impossible. Others may simply not be able to agree on where their children should spend their time. With the heightened emotions that Christmas and a pandemic bring, the likelihood is that the run-up to the big day will be a fraught affair for many.

If you are being denied contact with your children (and are usually entitled to spend time with them), it would be worth getting legal advice on your position. This doesn’t set you on a formal path; we often advise behind the scenes, helping clients have the right types of conversations with family members. In your situation, we would help you explore whether you have reached the end of the road in your discussions with your ex, or whether there is potential to reach some agreement. (It’s best to come to an agreement between yourselves wherever possible.)

The next approach could be mediation. This is where an impartial third party helps families work through their issues. In your situation, the mediator may be able to help you each see the other’s perspective and reach a compromise.

However mediation doesn’t suit everyone or every situation and the court route may be necessary where parents can’t resolve an issue between themselves. It may not be ideal to have a judge impose an arrangement that one or both of you might not be happy with but in some cases it is the only way to reach a conclusion.

As Christmas looms, we’d encourage you to act quickly. The sooner you can get the right conversations started, the better.

For advice about your situation, contact us on 01264 353411 or email and a member of the team would be happy to help.

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