The holiday season can be a time of mixed emotions, especially for separated families. If you have found yourself going through a separation over the holiday period, our list of Do’s and Don’t may be helpful to have a stress-free Christmas.
1. Do always consider that your actions may affect how your children feel, especially if they are unable to see the other parent.
2. Do follow the terms of any Court Orders, Parenting Plan or Consent Order in respect of parenting arrangements for the children.
3. Do arrange a Family Dispute Resolution Conference (Mediation) with the other parent to try and sort out plans for Christmas and the holiday if you haven’t been able to come to an agreement or if you want to change the current parenting arrangements.
4. Do arrange to formalise any informal arrangements to see your children by way of a Court Order, Parenting Plan or Consent Order.
5. Do follow the terms of any Family Violence Intervention Order (FVIO). Even if the other party says that is it ok, it does not provide you with an exemption from following the order. If you breach the terms of a FVIO this is a criminal offence and you could go to jail.
6. Ask your children what they would like to do. Give them input and some control over the process (this may depend on how old they are, however, all children should have the chance to say what they want to do).
7. Don’t take your children on an interstate or overseas without the written agreement of the other parent if you have a Parenting Plan or Court Order in place which doesn’t allow for such travel or if an Application for a Parenting Order has already been filed in the Court.
8. Don’t change your plans at the last minute. Christmas and the holiday season can be difficult to organise and getting everyone together isn’t easy, to avoid unnecessary stress, if you and your former partner have agreed on a plan, only change it if you both agree.
9. Don’t denigrate the other parent in the presence or hearing of the children.
10. Don’t forget that Christmas and the holidays should be a fun time for children. They should never be included in any dispute between parents over plans during the summer break.
At The Family Lawyer we can help you in all aspects of family law matters. For a free 15 minutes consultation contact The Family Lawyer by calling (03) 8657 3751 or emailing to firstname.lastname@example.org
We wish you a very Merry Christmas and thank you for your support during the year.