Q. I have recently separated from my daughter’s father. She is 7 years old and I am worried about what arrangements to make for her to see her father at Christmas. Is there a rule about how often she should be seeing her father?
A. We are frequently asked this question and the simple answer is that there is no minimum or maximum amount set by the Courts or written in law. You should consider “what is best for my daughter” and the circumstances of your daughter’s father. The best way to approach this is to try to talk to your previous partner about the frequency and duration of contact he wishes to have with his daughter and whether you can reach a realistic agreement.
As you say you are specifically worried about the arrangements for Christmas, again there is no set rule to follow. If you both agree to share the day equally then this is absolutely fine to do, likewise if you decide to alternate Christmas Day and Boxing Day so that this year she spends Christmas Day with you and Boxing Day with your previous partner, but next year your daughter spends Christmas Day with her father then this is also absolutely fine to arrange. Making arrangements of this kind really does depend on the individual circumstances of a family as what might be the ideal routine for one family may not work for your own.
*Previously printed in the Stamford Mercury and Peterborough Telegraph