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Parenting Arrangements over Christmas with Covid 19

Law

With Christmas just around the corner, it is important to start considering your parenting arrangements particularly in light of COVID 19. As always we recommend mutual respect and communication between the parties to resolve any differences.

We recommend if there are no impediments such as intervention orders etc speaking with the other party and trying to reach an amicable arrangement about how the children will share the  holidays, but if there are unresolved issues it may be prudent to act quickly to ensure that a resolution can be achieved.

Some important considerations may be:

  1. Are there other important cultural events over the summer holidays (for example, Lunar New Year, Orthodox Christmas, Chinese New Year etc)?
  2. Who will the children travel with? When, where will they go?  How will they get there?  How long will they stay ? will make up time apply? etc etc
  3. When does the school holiday period start (at the conclusion of the last day of school, the first Saturday of the school holidays or some other time)?
  4. 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)?
  5. How will your children spend time with you on Christmas Day (for example, will you swap the day each year, will you share it etc etc)?

How Mepstead Lawyers can help

If these conversations are difficult, perhaps we can help by contacting 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.  Remember a parenting plan is not binding or enforceable document and in some cases it may be prudent to amend  or 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 in order to seek a resolution keeping in mind that the Court’s paramount consideration is what is in the best interests of your children. If you are seeking parenting orders for the Christmas school holidays, you must file your application as soon as possible as the Christmas New Year is an exceptionally busy time for the Courts who operate with limited resources. 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 no confrontation or impediments to an enjoyable Christmas break for you and your children.

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