Would you agree that for many people all around the world, Christmas is a special time of the year?  For your child or your children, the idea of Christmas is likely magical, isn’t it?  If you have separated when it comes to co-parenting your child or your children, Christmas can bring stress and tears.  In your child’s eyes or from your children’s perspective, Christmas is an important time. It can heartbreaking for you to contemplate being away from your child or children during the Christmas celebrations and festivities.  If you and your child’s other parent cannot agree on the arrangement for the care of your children, it can be challenging not only for you, but, also and most significantly for your child or your children. If you are struggling to find solutions and reach decisions that will enable you and your child or children to have the happiest festive season possible, here are some things you can try:


What To Do If You Are Unable To Resolve Christmas Parenting Arrangements


Communicate And Compromise


If your ex-partner is constantly denying your requests, even if they seem fair and reasonable to you, it can be extremely frustrating.  If you find yourself in this situation, it is important to keep your channels of communication open and try to be as patient and respectful as possible. Staying calm will work in your favour. It might help to try to work out a compromise. Taking the first step by offering this may lead to a more positive outcome for everyone involved. Check out our blog on co-parenting at Christmas to learn more about our recommended steps to ensure all parties enjoy a stress free holiday period


Try Mediation


If you are struggling to reach an agreement due to a difficulty with communication or high tension between you, a good solution is to try mediation. Having a neutral third party listen to both sides is a great way to immediately bring new ideas and fresh perspectives to your situation and can help to calm both of you so that you can more easily find solutions that will suit your whole family.


If you’re struggling to agree on Christmas parenting arrangements, we take great care to listen to you and to ask the right questions so that we can understand what is most important to you. Check out our family mediation page to learn more about how we can assist!


Consider The Age Of Your Children


The age of your child or children is a significant factor in whether a child can be taken away from their mother for any given period of time. For children aged between 0 and 4, it is important to consider the long-term impacts of taking the child away from one parent for a sustained period of time. This includes thinking about your child’s primary caregiver (the person the child typically goes to for comfort) as well as whether your child is being breastfed. If your child is still being nursed, they are more likely to need to stay with their mother. In this case, an alternative solution for your child to spend time with the second parent will need to be arranged.


If you and your former partner have a child between the age of 0-4, additional variables need to be considered while deciding on the best arrangements for your children. Read our blog to learn more about parenting arrangements for the 0-4 year age group!


Put Your Child First


As a parent, it is likely (hopefully!) that you are well-versed in putting your child’s needs before your own. If yours is a difficult situation, your priority is to ensure that you prepare your child or children for some disruption during the festive period as early as possible. Reassure them that wherever they are, Christmas will still happen. Santa will still know where to bring their gifts, and if it is so, they will still see both of their parents around the Christmas period (if possible).

The longer in advance you start preparing your child or your children for your Christmas arrangements, the more likely they are to accept them, and the more comfortable they are likely to be with the decisions made, even if the arrangements are not your child or your children’s first preference.  If your child is old enough to make informed decisions, and if it is appropriate in your situation, it could help if you ask your child or children what they would prefer to do over the Christmas period – just make sure the other parent agrees to this before you do so. If there are Court Orders in place you must abide by the orders as it is serious to breach a Court order. Remember, children have a need and right to maintain a relationship with both of their parents – as long as it is safe for them to do so.


What If One Parent Wants To Take The Child Travelling?


If one parent wants to take your child or children away over Christmas, arrangements and issues can become even more complicated. Similar to moving away with your child, you need the permission of anyone with parental responsibility to take your child or children on holiday at any time of year, no matter the circumstances.

If you take your child on holiday without the clear consent of the other party with parental responsibility, your conduct may be considered to be child abduction. For this reason, it is important to follow the rules and be extremely clear with the co-parent of your child or children to avoid serious consequences. It is possible, however, to go to court in order to gain permission to take your child on holiday, especially if the other parent is being uncooperative. If the Court grants an Order allowing you to take your child on holiday, the other parent cannot refuse your child or your children being taken on holiday. Learn more in our blog about how far can you travel with a child.


If you have joint parental responsibility for your children and you share equal time with your children, you will need to obtain permission from the court before you can move away with them. check out our blog about how far away you can travel with your child in Australia!


Where To Get Help


Your children deserve a magical Christmas this year, and so do you. If you are still confused about your options,  or you are simply looking to make sure your Christmas goes well for your child or your children, the Anumis Legal Family Law ‘Dream Team’ are here to help you. At Anumis Legal, we offer assistance with all of your family law needs and your parenting arrangements.  We are happy to answer your questions. Whether you need advice, representation or any other legal assistance, we are here to make sure you get the best outcomes for you, your child, or your children.

To learn more about how the law applies to your situation, and to put your mind at ease this Christmas, call our experienced Family Lawyers directly on 07 5455 6347 to make your appointment for your complimentary chat. Or email admin@anumis.com.au to set up your free consultation now.



Nadine Love

Nadine Love is a lawyer and part of “the dream team” at Anumis Legal. She completed her law degree at Southern Cross University and received the New South Wales Bar Association Prize for Evidence and Civil Litigation. In addition to her passion for family law and therapeutic jurisprudence Nadine is also a celebrated international author, personal & business coach, drama therapist and motivational mentor. Nadine’s interests encompass swimming and walking in the rainforest with golden retriever Anu, and Australian Shepherds, Lex, and Onyx. She combines her strengths of advocacy, empathy and out-of-the box problem solving to support her clients to achieve their best legal outcomes.

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