What’s Happening With The Children These Christmas Holidays?
By Belinda Spong, Principal, MST Lawyers
It is approximately ten weeks until Christmas.
Along with the general pressures that arise during this time of year, separated parents must also remember that time is running out to agree to arrangements for the care of their children over the extended Christmas holiday period.
If carers cannot agree about extended holiday arrangements, they may need to make an application to the Family Law Courts to make orders regarding with whom the children will live and spend time.
Parents and carers may be required to make a genuine effort to resolve their Christmas and holiday disputes through compulsory Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) with a qualified FDR practitioner.
If parents cannot agree, then they must file their applications as soon as possible to attempt to secure a hearing date before the upcoming Christmas holiday period.
For complex matters requiring a determination by the Family Court of Australia, applications seeking parenting orders during the Christmas school holiday period are required to be filed by 4 pm on the second Friday in November, so by 9 November 2018.
There is no filing deadline of this type in the Federal Circuit Court, which will endeavour to accommodate applications before the Christmas holidays subject to the urgency of the matter and judicial availability. In practice, the Courts are currently listing hearings for late November, early December 2018, making listings before Christmas increasingly scarce over the coming weeks.