Parenting Arrangements over Christmas

Parenting Arrangements over the Christmas Holiday Period

Parenting post separation can be hard enough but when you add the Christmas holiday period into the mix, the mix of emotions and tensions can be a recipe for disaster.

For those who are recently separated or divorced the pressure of learning how to celebrate the festive season as a single parent can often be a steep learning curve.

Across Australia the second Friday of November each year marks the cut-off date for applications to be filed in the Federal Circuit and Family Court’s to be heard in time for Christmas.

For many newly separated parents, this deadline will be out of reach simply because there is not sufficient time to comply with the Section 60I requirement of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) which requires parties to attempt mediation before being eligible to be able to make an application to the Court.

In these types of situations, it is often hard to see past the frustration but it is important to recognise that although you might like to spend Christmas Day with the children, chances are the other parent would like to as well.

To help you navigate your way through this holiday period and make sure the children don’t have to endure warring parents, our solicitors have provided some tips to avoid the conflict.

  • Communication is key– expecting the other parent to understand what you want without explaining to them why is never going to work.
  • Compromise– effective co-parenting post separation requires give and take. It can’t be all about what you want.
  • Be civil– sometimes there is merit in being the bigger person.
  • Don’t fight and argue in front of the kids– remember that your children are the innocent victims in this scenario.
  • Find the silver lining– if for some reason you can’t be with the children on Christmas Day, embrace the opportunity to give them two Christmas Days and celebrate it again when they are next in your care.
  • Be Prepared– if you plan on travelling with the children over the Christmas period, make sure you talk to the other parent about this as early as possible. Also, don’t forget to check the terms of your current Court Orders if your matter is already in court.