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A School Holiday Survival Guide for Separated Parents

For separated parents, school holidays can be a stressful time.

Organising how your children will spend the school holiday period, between your household with the other parent can be daunting.

The following are some useful tips that we recommend taking into consideration:

  1. Do not leave things to be agreed upon later.  Record your specific agreement about how the holidays will be shared. For example:

                (a) half with the mother and half with the father;

                (b) on what day changeover will occur; and

               (c) who is doing the picking up and dropping off. 

If there is a history of going back on agreements, talk to us about recording arrangements in a Parenting Order, which specifies holiday arrangements and we can formalise it into a Court Order. We can also help you with a Parenting Plan, which is a less formal option to a Court Order and it can be dedicated specifically to school holidays.

2. If an important event like a birthday falls during the school holidays, be the bigger parent and organise a video call or a party and extend the invitation to the other parent. There may be times in the future when the timing of holidays deprives you of a special time, so being considerate and thoughtful from the start can be beneficial for you in the future.

3. Your main focus during school holidays should always be on the best outcome for your children. Focusing on the best outcome for your children is consistent with the provisions and considerations pursuant tothe Family Law Act 1975 (Cth). Whenever you are considering and planning for the school holiday periods, ensure your focus is on what is the best outcome for your children.

4. Communication when co-parenting during the school holidays is very important. It is a way to help ensure that your children’s best interests are met during this time. You will need to communicate with numerous people from the person(s) such as your co-parent with your children or a school holiday provider. Communication is key!

5. Be flexible to review, change arrangements and to discuss these with your children as they grow older. Younger children may need frequent short visits, whereas teenagers may prefer to spend weekends with friends but have regular email or telephone contact with the other parent. If plans need to be changed remember to consult your ex-partner, especially before booking anything. If both parents, try to be considerate, it will make a big difference for the children.

By agreeing with parenting arrangements in advance, the potential for conflict is minimised, and parents and children can move forward more easily. Contact MSA Lawyers to learn how to navigate parenting responsibilities during school holidays.

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