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Are you and the kids spending your first Christmas alone since separating with your partner?

With the festive season highlighting family traditions and togetherness, it's natural to feel a bit lost.

But it's still possible to find pockets of joy and create new memories, even in these changed circumstances.

Here, Carolyn Devries, founder of Australia’s first non-profit law firm New Way Lawyers, lists her top tips to help you navigate the season with care.

1. Keep the Kids Out of the Adult Stuff: Your kids love both of you, and this season is tough on them too.

Try to keep adult issues away from them. They shouldn’t be your messengers or have to listen to any negative chat about the other parent.

Protect them - they need to know it’s okay to love both mum and dad, even if things are a bit different now.

2. Communicate Kindly with Your Ex: If you need to discuss or talk about things with your ex-partner aim for conversations that are more like a polite business meeting – respectful, direct, and minus the drama.

Think about what you’re going to say and how you say it. Keeping things amicable not only makes life easier for you both but also sets a great example for the kids.

3. Get Parenting Arrangements in Place Early: Sharing special occasions like Christmas can be difficult the first time around, so it’s good to start the process of working out arrangements early.

It is always best if you and your ex can reach agreement, and mediation and family dispute resolution are great services that help separated parents try to reach agreement.

If you can’t reach agreement, obtaining legal advice early is wise.

4. Create New Traditions: This is a chance to start some new traditions with your kids. Maybe it’s a special Christmas Eve movie night, or baking cookies for Santa.

It's about making this new chapter as magical as possible for them (and for you, too).

5. Lean on Support and Get Some Legal Know-How: It’s totally okay to acknowledge if you feel a bit out of your depth.

This is uncharted territory, after all, so don't hesitate to get help. Whether it's chatting with experts at Relationships Australia or diving into some much-needed legal advice – reach out.

Carolyn runs a Facebook group called Lunch with a Lawyer which is free for people to join. They can ask for advice and an experienced lawyer will be there to answer their questions at lunchtime every day.



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