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Parenting at Christmas for Separated Parents

When we were children we all looked forward to Christmas time, especially the presents!

In the case of parents who have separated, things can get a little bit more complicated at Christmas time and it is not uncommon for disagreements and arguments to arise with parents wanting to spend time with the children during the festive season.  As in most cases, prevention is better than cure and it is best for separated parents to come to some agreement for spending time with the children before the start of the Christmas holidays. 

Generally, the Registries of the Federal Circuit Court and Family Court will close over the Christmas holiday period and the closing date for filing an application for parenting orders to be heard in the Family Court before Christmas, will normally be early in November.  In relation to the Federal Circuit Court an application may be brought a little bit later than this but unless it is urgent, the application will not normally be heard until the following year.

As a family you do not need the added stress and worry at Christmas time of having to argue with your former spouse or partner about celebrating Christmas with the children.  In order to reduce the potential for this stress and the arguments, we provide the following tips:

  • Plan. It is important that arrangements for Christmas are not left until the last minute.  If an agreement cannot be reached, then there are family dispute resolution services available which may assist you and your former spouse/partner in negotiating an agreement which everybody can be happy about.
  • If you have difficulty communicating with your former spouse/partner, then use the talking parents app. This will require both of you to register and there is a monthly fee payable for the app.  However, once registered, it allows you to communicate about the children even if you are on the move and you will have a record of those communications through the app.

Circumstances of each family will differ.  You may have parenting orders in place or a parenting agreement.  Alternatively, there may be no orders or agreement in place. Should you require assistance, please do not hesitate to contact our office.

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