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Family Law Blog

Comment on divorce & family law 

Don’t let family arguments ruin Christmas

They saved the most revealing poll of the year until almost the end. What causes the biggest family arguments at Christmas? You could have arguments over what should top the list!

But the survey says it is “who has control of the remote control.” Am pretty sure this is high on the list whatever the time of year – something for life, not just for Christmas.

Mums stressing over the Christmas dinner came second, while tiffs over no one helping her in the kitchen took third spot in the cheery, festive poll. I love the fact that “cheating over board games” features high up and “Dad not wanting to watch soap Christmas specials” comes 12th.

Christmas is traditionally a time of presents, eating and argument hotspots. The combination of time off work, families together (whether they like it or not) high expectations and, often, alcohol, creates a crucible unlike any other time of year and things can turn sour. It can be the final straw for some who decide they want out of their marriage or relationships. It is no surprise that early January is traditionally the busiest time for family lawyers.

As I highlighted in my blog last week, there are some resources out there to help you, such as the Keep Cool This Yule campaign from

My dos and don’ts would be:

  • Don’t make potentially life changing decisions in the heat of the moment, or after a little too much festive spirit 
  • Don’t allow friends or family members to influence your decisions 
  • Do look for the help of an independent mediator to help resolve issues 
  • Do think about the children. Arguments or a prickly atmosphere are bad enough during the rest of the year but Christmas should be a special time for youngsters 
  • Don’t agree financial arrangements if you have decided to split, until you have consulted a specialist family solicitor.

Any break-up is emotionally draining and can be costly. The average price is now reported to be around £13,000, though on average our clients spend far less than that with us. Christmas is a unique time of year and not ideal for making life-changing decisions about relationships without carefully thinking about the consequences. Wait until the tinsel is down and the relatives have gone before really taking stock – and don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Andrew Woolley
Divorce Solicitor


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