For a separated family, Christmas and summer holidays can be stressful. Determining the parenting arrangements for holidays can feel like you are under siege. Whether you are on amicable terms or not, arranging where your children will spend holidays should be done well in advance. 


Considerations for Christmas parenting arrangement negotiations

It might sound simple but it’s often forgotten – attempt to focus on the children when negotiating holiday parenting arrangements. Christmas is an emotional time, especially if this is your first holiday season as a separated couple. Keeping your children’s best interests at heart is the best way to navigate these murky waters.


Find a workable solution

Communication is key. Think about what communication methods work best for you and your partner. Has email or text messages led to misunderstandings in the past? Do you end up yelling if you meet face-to-face? What about meeting in a public space like a cafe (you will be surprised how it forces you to remain civil). Or email your requests prior to an in-face meeting. If discussions end in a stalemate, why not try mediation? 


Mediation for parenting arrangements

Mediation is perfect for parenting arrangement disputes if you don’t want to get the Court involved. Often parenting arrangement disputes are more about the practicalities than the legalities (you want the kids for Christmas Day but don’t want to hand them over until mid-day Boxing Day whereas your ex-partner wants first thing Boxing Day morning). Having an unbiased third party listen and understand both your wants and plans will help you have a constructive discussion. 


Settling holiday parenting arrangement disagreements

If you and your ex-partner cannot agree on a parenting arrangement plan over Christmas or school holidays, you may need to seek a parenting order. Typically only used as a last resort,  a Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia decides your parenting order. It’s important to note parenting orders are legally binding. So, if even if you disagree with the outcome of the judge’s decision, you must legally abide by it. 


Contact one of Geelong best and most compassionate family lawyers 

At Whyte, Just & Moore, we have a dedicated team of family lawyers. They will keep you and your children’s best interests in mind when providing legal advice and counsel on the next steps. Call 03 5222 2077 to book your confidential, obligation-free initial consultation.