The 10 Do’s and Don’ts of Family Law for Christmas
Christmas holidays can be a time of mixed emotions, particularly for separated families.
If you are going through a separation and are wanting a smooth and stress-free Christmas then we suggest you follow our list of Do’s and Don’ts for Christmas.
1. Do follow the terms of any Parenting Plan or Consent Order in respect of parenting arrangements for the children. If you don’t, you could be found to be in breach of Orders if you have them.
2. Do arrange a Family Dispute Resolution Conference (Mediation) with the other parent if you have not been able to reach any agreement in relation to parenting arrangements for the children or if you want to change the current parenting arrangements.
3. Do arrange to formalise any custody and access arrangements by way of a Parenting Plan or Parenting Order.
4. Do get specialist Family Law legal advice if you are contemplating separating or have separated.
5. Do follow the terms of any Domestic Violence Protection Order. Just because it is Christmas this does not provide you with an exemption from following the terms of the Protection Order. If you breach the terms of a Protection Order this is a criminal offence and you could go to jail.
6. Don’t take your children overseas without the written agreement of the other parent if you have a Parenting Order in place which doesn’t allow for such travel or if an Application for a Parenting Order has been filed in the Court. If you do, this is an office punishable by imprisonment for up to 3 years.
7. Don’t run out of time. If you have a time limit approaching for property settlement or maintenance matters file court proceedings within the time limit which is 2 years from the date of separation for de facto couples and for married couples it is within 12 months from the date your Divorce Order becomes effective.
8. Don’t commit any acts of family or domestic violence including against your partner or children and do not expose your children to domestic violence. Domestic violence has a very broad definition and can include not only physical abuse but can also be emotional or psychological abuse and economic or financial abuse.
9. Don’t denigrate the other parent in the presence or hearing of the children.
10. Don’t unilaterally relocate the children’s residence without the consent in writing of the other parent or without a court order if such relocation would make it significantly more difficult for the other parent to spend time with the children, eg. relocating the children’s residence from Brisbane to Melbourne.
At Michael Lynch Family Lawyers we can help you in all aspects of family law matters. For a fixed-cost no-obligation initial consultation contact Michael Lynch Family Lawyers by calling (07) 3221 4300 or emailing to [email protected]