Summer Holidays Are Coming: Parenting Orders Due Soon!

October 29, 2019

If you didn’t have your fair share of time with your children these school holidays, speak to a family lawyer now to make arrangements for the summer holidays.

Holidays can be challenging for families with separated parents. Tensions can run high when negotiating where and with whom the children will spend their time. A lack of planning and communication can lead to stress and confusion for the children, who sometimes wish to please multipleparties and are left stranded in the middle.

Families seeking to protect their children from this juggle of expectations should plan for the festive season in advance. Early communication of holiday arrangements can help provide your children with a sense of stability and let themfocus on having a revitalising break from school and an enjoyable holiday break.

So when do you need to plan?

The second Friday in November is the general cut-off date for applications in the Family Court and the Federal Circuit Court to be considered before Christmas in Australia. Unless it is an emergency matter, the Courts will regularly require caregiversto attend mediation under Section 60I of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) prior to applying for Parenting Orders.

Meaning: you should be making arrangements to apply for these Orders now.

Caregivers who wish to travel with children over the holidays should also consider whether passport applications will be necessary, noting that it may take up to an additional three weeks for such applications to be approved and actioned by the Australian Passport Office after any necessary Parenting Orders are obtained.

If you require Parenting Orders to outline what time you will spend with your children in their school holidays, please give us a call on (08) 8231 1362 at your earliest convenience.

If you are unable to make an application by the above cut-offdate and require assistance to negotiate or arrange your time with your children, the family law experts at Websters Lawyers are here to help. We are a child-focused team and can provide you with advice which prioritises their wellbeing.

When it comes to finding a middle ground for time arrangements, our lawyers recommend that caregivers keepthe following approaches in mind.▪ Avoid arguing or negotiating around the children. It is not in a child’s interest to be in the middle of a fight, or for them to feel guilty about where they spend their time.▪ If a holiday date cannot be divided, emphasise the silver lining for the children to have more than one day of celebration with their family.▪ If an agreement is reached, put it in writing to help avoid confusion or discrepancies when the dates in question arrive.▪ Compromise shouldn’t be about surrendering your position, it is about considering what is best for the children. Remember that holiday arrangements are often a give-and-take affair, and one-sided arrangements are often short-lived.

Our family law team can support you from the initial stages of negotiation in children’s matters right through to the actioning of Parenting Orders. If you are unsure of your children’s Christmas or school holiday living arrangements, or would like to speak to a family lawyer about a children’s matter, please contact us here.

To read more, please go to this link.