Just when you thought things were getting into something of a routine after the stresses and emotional turmoil of a separation and adjusting to new shared-parenting arrangements, the silly season is thrust upon you.
In an effort to retain some semblance of peace as Christmas approaches, families in this situation are encouraged to consider the arrangements for the big day (and the holidays attached to it) as soon as possible. Some families are able to decide very soon after separation how Christmas will be shared with very little stress (and thought) and the festivities of the day can be enjoyed by everyone. I knew one family that had Dad with the children on Christmas Day ‘even’ years and Mum on the ‘odd’ years. Similar arrangements can be successfully used to negotiate holiday.
Unfortunately for many families this may seem or be impossible, particularly when communication with an ex-spouse is difficult. In this event, it is encouraged that you make it a priority to meet with a lawyer sooner rather than later and address the need to have suitable arrangements in place. Arrangements can be made by lawyer assisted negotiations and formalised or failing agreement by an Order of the Court by way of an Application. It is critical that families are aware that such applications must be received by 4pm Friday 11th November to guarantee an order is granted before Christmas Day. The Court is extremely busy at this time of year, and in the event any such application is not filed by that date, the Applicant is at risk of not being heard before Christmas.
It is recommended that you have that conversation early rather than later. After all there is nothing more stressful than having to manage an un-cooperative ex-spouse and realising it might be too late to have arrangements in place for Christmas.