Santa Claus is coming, but have you sorted your Christmas parenting arrangements?

Santa Claus is coming, but have you sorted your Christmas parenting arrangements?

With Christmas just around the corner, it is important to start considering your parenting arrangements

Learn more about the most important considerations for your Christmas parenting arrangements, taking into account the additional complications of COVID-19.

Try to negotiate your Christmas parenting arrangements

As always, we recommend speaking with the other party and trying to reach an amicable arrangement about how the children will share the school holidays, but if there are unresolved issues it may be prudent to act quickly to ensure that a resolution can be achieved if you cannot agree.

Some important considerations are:

  1. When does the school holiday period start (for example, at the conclusion of the last day of school, the first Saturday of the school holidays or some other time)?
  2. How will your children spend time with you over the holidays (for example, will you divide the holidays into two equal blocks, a week on/week off arrangement or something else)?
  3. How will your children spend time with you on Christmas Day (for example, will you swap the day each year, will you share it or something else)?
  4. Are there other important cultural events over the summer holidays (for example, Orthodox Christmas, the Lunar New Year / Tết Festival / Chinese New Year)?
  5. Will your children travel with either parent? If so, where will they go?  How will they get there?  How long can they stay?  How will they contact the other parent while they are travelling?

How we can help

If these conversations are difficult, we can reach out to the other party to negotiate arrangements on your behalf in an amicable and cost-effective manner.  If the other party chooses not to co-operate, we can assist you to arrange another appropriate forum to resolve these disputes, including mediation, arbitration or court proceedings.

What to do if you agree on Christmas parenting arrangements

If you are able to reach agreement, you should document your agreement in a parenting plan or court orders to avoid confusion and dispute about precisely what was agreed.  A parenting plan is not binding or enforceable and in some cases it may be sensible to obtain court orders instead.

What to do if you cannot agree on Christmas parenting arrangements

If you cannot agree about your Christmas parenting arrangements, you may need to commence Court proceedings and ask a Judge to decide what the arrangements should be. It is important to remember that the Court’s paramount consideration is what is in the best interests of your children.

Important deadline for Christmas parenting arrangements

If you are seeking parenting orders for the Christmas school holidays, you must file your application by:

4pm on Friday, 13 November 2020

This means that if you and the other party have not agreed about your parenting arrangements, you will need to file your Court documents before that date.

If you are currently considering your Christmas parenting arrangements, now it the time to speak with one of our experienced family lawyers to ensure there is an enjoyable Christmas break for you and your children.

This article was written by Senior Associate, Jessica Wynd.



DISCLAIMER: We accept no responsibility for any action taken after reading this article. It is intended as a guide only and is not a substitute for the expert legal advice you can receive from marshalls+dent+wilmoth and other relevant experts.