The Holiday Season – Tips for separated and divorced Parents
The holiday season can bring both joy and challenges, especially when it comes to family law issues. Here are some common family law related issues that may arise during the holiday season and how to navigate them:
1. Arrangements to spend time with the children:
- It is generally best to have a clear and legally binding parenting agreement in place. This agreement can outline holiday visitation schedules and arrangements.
- Try and stick to the agreed-upon schedule to avoid conflicts and stress for your children.
- If you need to make temporary changes to the schedule due to travel or other commitments, communicate with the other parent well in advance and seek their cooperation.
- Maintain open and respectful communication with your co-parent during the holiday season. Discuss plans, expectations, and any concerns in advance to minimise conflicts.
- If communication with the other parent is challenging, consider using a mediator or a co-parenting app to facilitate communication and share important information.
- If holiday plans involve travelling with your children, make sure you are aware of any restrictions or requirements related to parenting orders. Notify the other parent in advance about travel plans, and in accordance with any terms of the parenting orders.
- If there are concerns about international travel, consult with your lawyer to ensure compliance with any legal requirements or restrictions.
4. Gift-Giving and Expenses:
- Coordinate gift-giving with the other parent to avoid duplicating gifts or causing financial strain.
- Be mindful of your financial obligations, especially if you have child support or other financial commitments. Budget wisely for holiday expenses.
5. Staying Child-Focused:
- Put your children’s well-being and best interests first. Focus on creating a positive and enjoyable holiday experience for them, regardless of any personal conflicts with the other parent.
- Avoid using the holiday season as an opportunity to involve children in disputes or disagreements.
6. Legal Assistance:
- If you encounter significant conflicts or issues related to parenting matters, or other family law matters during the holidays, consult with your family lawyer. They can provide guidance and, options about how to resolve disputes.
- The holiday season can be emotionally challenging, especially if you are dealing with a recent separation or divorce. Take care of your mental and emotional well-being by seeking support from friends, family, or a therapist.
Remember that every family situation is unique, and what works for one family may not work for another. It’s crucial to have a clear understanding of your specific legal rights and responsibilities as outlined in your parenting agreement. If conflicts arise, seeking legal advice early can help you address issues proactively and ensure a smoother holiday season for you and your children
McLaughlins Lawyers provides a comprehensive range of family law services to ensure clients are equipped with expert legal advice. Please call or email our family law team on (07) 5591 5099 and [email protected] for a free, no obligation 15 minute chat to see how we can help you this holiday season.
Author: Joelene Nel
Legal Practice Director: Paul Robert Davis