Lavan Family Law Alert: Beat the Family Court Christmas filing deadline

Separation is never easy and special occasions like Christmas can be very difficult, highlighting the reality of the changed living arrangements for parties post separation.

It is always recommended that parties try and negotiate arrangements well ahead of Christmas and the school holidays. It may only be October, but Christmas will be here before you know it.

From a practical perspective, the best thing for both parents to do is to remain child focused.  This means that parties should try to consider what arrangements would place the best interests of the child ahead of their own interests or feelings. Consider the following:

  1. Making Christmas time a happy time for the children.
  2. Try not to expose the children to disputes between their parents.
  3. Try not to pack too much into Christmas Day as constant handovers can take away from the specialness of the day.
  4. Many children love the idea of having two Christmas Days, so if you don’t have the children on Christmas Day itself, arrange “Christmas” celebrations and the exchanging of presents on Boxing Day or prior to Christmas Day when the children are in your care instead.
  5. Encouraging and allowing the children to be able to take and enjoy their gifts at the other parents house.

Unfortunately, in some cases, parties cannot agree to parenting arrangements, and so the Family Court is required to assist the parties in making a decision.

If you need the assistance of the Family Court with regard to your children's arrangements at Christmas, remember the Family Court is notorious for being busy, and this is especially highlighted at Christmas time.

Strict time limits apply to family law applications for parenting orders to be dealt with before Christmas.  For 2017, this date is by 4pm on 10 November 2017. It is therefore worthwhile getting your application in as soon as possible if it relates to parenting orders during the Christmas school holiday period.

Our Family Law team can assist you in any applications in this regard.