Making parenting arrangements over Christmas
Arranging child custody over the Christmas holidays can be tricky for newly divorced parents, especially if both parents would like to be with the child on special holidays. Different arrangements work for different parents, however if you’re struggling to come to an agreement, here are a few options for dividing up the holiday period.
One option involves dividing special holidays within the Christmas break. For example, one parent may want to take the child from 4pm Christmas Eve to 4pm Christmas Day, while the other takes the child from 4pm Christmas Day to 4pm Boxing Day. You may want this agreement to alternate each year.
You may also want to divide the school holidays so that one parent spends more time with the child over the break, but the other has custody for special holidays like Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
It’s important to remember that wanting to spend time with your child on special holidays is a natural desire for both parents. This is why you should consider the desires of your child’s other parent as well as your own. Being understanding of the other parent’s situation is the best way to remain civil and come to a mutually beneficial agreement.
Of course it is in your child’s best interest to keep stress to a minimum and disputes at bay during this time. However, if one parent is reluctant to agree on an arrangement, there are options that can be considered to ensure a fair and civil agreement.
Create a parenting plan
A parenting plan is a document which outlines the days children will spend with each parent, including holidays. Although a parenting plan is not enforceable by law, if a custody dispute does happen to arise, the court may consider the latest parenting plan when making legal decisions.
Lodge a parenting order
If one parent does not agree to an arrangement, and you believe that it is in the best interest of your child to spend time with you, you may want to take the matter to court. A parenting order is a legally binding arrangement, which can include where the child lives and with whom. In order to apply for a parenting order, both parents must agree to the
application. If one parent does not agree, the court may request a report from a family consultant or social worker to help them make decisions surrounding the arrangement. When coming to a decision, the court will always consider what arrangement will be in the best interest of the child as a priority.
If you would like some legal advice in regards to your custody arrangement, or would like to take a matter to court, please do not hesitate to contact Owen Hodge Lawyers on 1800 770 780.