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Have you made plans for Christmas?

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Separated parents often assume that they will be able to negotiate Christmas holiday contact arrangements between themselves. Unfortunately, it is our experience that such arrangements have a nasty habit of falling apart at the last minute. One way to avoid a last minute child access dispute is to formalise your Christmas holiday contact arrangements by seeking parenting orders with either the Family Court or the Federal Magistrates Court.

If you need to make an application for such an order you must understand that:

  • The Family Court rules provide that all applications seeking parenting orders relating to the Christmas period must be filed by no later than 4:00pm on 13 November 2009.
  • The Federal Magistrates Court rules do not contain a similar limitation. However, it is recommended your application be filed by no later than 13 November 2009 if you wish to ensure that your application is finalised prior to Christmas.
  • Separated parents must obtain a mediation certificate before applying to the Court, however, there are exceptions to this rule.

Contact us immediately if you need to formalise your Christmas arrangements and make an application to the Family Court by 13 November 2009.

Please contact our Family Law team if you would to discuss any aspect of the application process.

Author:  Laughlin Nicholls