Christmas, Separation and Kids: Handling Holiday Arrangements

Whilst the holiday season can bring much joy, it can also be a time of uncertainty for many. This is particularly true for those who have recently experienced a separation or divorce, and especially so when children are involved. In the process of separation or divorce, it is possible that child parenting arrangements have been entered into and it is important that these are respected during the holiday season.

This can be particularly difficult because it is a time where both parents may want access to their children at the same time. This may be especially complex this year, given many families have had to endure long periods of separation from one another, meaning that time this Christmas with the children may feel even more precious. It is entirely reasonable for both parents to want to spend time with their children over Christmas and the rest of the holiday season.

However, if you are a parent facing this situation for the first time this Christmas, it’s important to remember that it is likely that the other parent feels the same way. Where there are Court ordered arrangements in place, you must ensure that those agreements are maintained. Where there isn’t a Court ordered schedule, and there is room for flexibility when it comes to arrangements with respect to the time each parent receives with children, it is important that any changes to the usual schedule are discussed and mutually agreed.

As such, it’s crucial that parents discuss their wishes as openly as possible and look to come to an agreement.

Things you may like to consider when having these discussions include:

  • Plan holidays well in advance, ensuring you discuss dates with the other parent
  • If court-ordered arrangements are in place, respect those arrangements
  • Never argue in front of the children
  • Ensure your children are protected from harm
  • If it’s not possible to see your children on Christmas day, consider having a Christmas celebration with your family on the next possible opportunity

Where there are Court orders, you must ensure any plans you make do not fall foul of those arrangements. Whether travelling in regional Victoria, interstate or overseas, failure to adhere to any existing orders could cause plenty of legal headaches in the future, even if you believe you have acted in accordance with an informal agreement with the other parent.

Of course, if you’re ever in doubt about your rights and responsibilities when it comes to the time you spend with your children, you should contact an experienced Family Lawyer. Freeman Family Law has an exceptional track record of helping our clients with children’s matters and our team are here to help you.

Contact us today for an obligation-free consultation. Freeman Family Law remains contactable over the holiday season.

Freeman Family Law has been assisting clients for over 30 years on matters involving divorce or separation, complex financial and property issues, as well as advice on parenting and wills & estates. Book an appointment with an Accredited Family Law Specialist online or at one of our offices in Yarraville, South Melbourne, Caroline Springs, Essendon or Mornington.

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