Discuss kids’ care for Christmas now
The Family Court is busier than your local shopping centre on Christmas eve.
Everywhere we look, Christmas decorations are appearing in shopping centres, which serve as a timely reminder the Christmas holidays are almost upon us.
In fact, Christmas is now little less than two months away.
In the event you have not discussed the care arrangements for your children in the upcoming Christmas holidays with your ex partner, now is the time to have these discussions.
If you are unable to reach an agreement regarding the upcoming Christmas holidays, you may need to seek Family Court orders, but it is important you determine whether you need the intervention of the Family Court as soon as possible as there are processes which must be followed.
Before starting Family Court proceedings regarding children’s matters, the Family Law Act 1975 requires that the parties attend Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) to attempt to resolve these issues.
There are exceptions to this requirement; however, you cannot rely on the fact that your matter will fall under one of these exceptions.
Once you either attempt to start the FDR process and the other party declines to participate or you attend FDR without reaching an agreement, you will be issued a section 60I certificate.
When you have been issued a section 60I certificate, you are then able to start Family Court proceedings.
If you and your ex-partner are unable to reach an agreement through FDR or otherwise regarding the upcoming Christmas holidays, you will need to start Family Court proceedings before the cut-off date, which this year is at 4pm on Friday, November 10.
As the Family Court is busier than your local shopping centre on Christmas Eve, it is vital you file your application as soon as possible to try to obtain a hearing before the Christmas period starts.
This Christmas season contact our offices to book an appointment to obtain legal advice regarding family dispute resolution and the start of Family Court proceedings.
Hayley Ellison is an associate at HHG Legal Group.
This is general information only, and does not constitute specific legal advice. For further information on this or other legal matters, contact HHG Legal Group’s Albany office on 9841 2322.