Is too early to think about Christmas?
… not if you have children.
If you are separated and have children, have you and your former spouse discussed parenting arrangements over Christmas or the long school holidays?
It might be time to start that discussion and try and reach an agreement.
The first step is, if you can and there aren’t any issues of personal safety or family violence, have a chat with your former spouse and see if you can reach an agreement between you.
If you can reach agreement, it’s a good idea to get some legal advice to make sure you’ve covered everything in your agreement and to write it down.
Secondly, if you’re able to speak with each other but just don’t see eye-to-eye on Christmas arrangements (and this is really common for families who are approaching their first Christmas as a separated family), contact Relationships Australia or another family dispute resolution service and try and reach an agreement with the help of a third person (dispute resolution is a requirement for most people before making an application to court anyway).
If you reach agreement, it can be formalized as parenting orders (and while you’re on a roll discussing your kids and the arrangements that are best for them, it’s probably also a really good time to consider making some parenting orders covering all aspects of your children’s care). Read my post on parenting orders.
The negotiation process can take a few months, so now is the perfect time to get some advice and start organizing some formal arrangements for your children.
If you can’t reach agreement, you may need to consider making an application to the Court for parenting orders.
You should be aware there is a deadline in the Court for making non-urgent applications for parenting arrangements over Christmas.
For advice about your particular circumstances, get in touch with Megan Sweetlove for a confidential discussion at firstname.lastname@example.org
** DISCLAIMER: This information in this publication is not intended to be legal advice. Information provided on in this publication is for the purpose of providing general information only in relation to Family Law. The information provided is current at the time it is produced. You should not rely on the general information contained in this publication as legal advice. You should consult a lawyer for advice regarding your own specific circumstances.