Tips to avoid Christmas custody disappointment.

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What is meant to be a happy and joyous time of year, particularly for children, the Christmas holiday period is the cause of many disputes between separated parents in relation to the arrangements concerning their children.  This  leads to a sharp increase in the number of applications filed at Court in the months leading up to Christmas which inevitably leads to greater delays in accessing the Court system and ultimately parents and children not getting arrangements sorted in time.

Some typical examples of the types of disputes that arise around this time of year include:

  • The care arrangements for children over the school holiday periods;
  • When the children are to spend time with each parent on Christmas Day;
  • If you are planning to take the children away interstate or overseas, which generally requires the consent of the other parent; and
  • School enrolments for the next year.

It is important to act now if you have encountered issues with the other parent concerning the parenting arrangements over the upcoming Christmas school holiday period to give yourself the best opportunity to have these issues sorted prior to the commencement of this period.  In some cases, it may even be necessary to commence legal proceedings if no agreement can be reached with the other parent.  Given the increase in applications made to the court at this time of year and the already large number of matters which occupy the court lists, any application which requires determination of a matter pertaining to the upcoming Christmas period must be filed now to ensure that the matter is at least returnable at Court prior to the Christmas break.  Courts will usually impose a cut off date for applications to be filed in dealing with urgent issues relating to the Christmas period.

Not all situations will require legal proceedings to be commenced and there are various ways and means of attempting to resolve issues with the other parent concerning the Christmas holiday period.  This can involve engaging a lawyer to prepare a letter on your behalf to the other parent which sets out your proposal in dealing with the particular issue.  You can also attempt mediation or Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) with the other parent if he/she is willing to participate.  Once again, there can be delays associated with the service providers which offer mediation and/or FDR, therefore making it imperative for you to act now.

Cox West Lawyers is able to offer you expert advice in dealing with any issues you might encounter over the Christmas holiday period concerning your children as well as being able to advise you on any other Family Law issues. 

Our friendly and experienced Solicitors are readily available to meet with you and we aim to be able to make an appointment to see you within 24 hours of making contact with our office.  

Call our Freecall number today 1800 647 023 to discuss any concerns or to help with parenting arrangements or mediation appointments that you may require.


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