Have you recently separated and the thought of making arrangements for the children at Christmas time is filling you with dread?
You’re not alone, the first post-separation Christmas is the most stressful. After the first Christmas most families reach an agreement and fall into an annual routine which usually alternates or allocates specific time to each parent.
If you are able to have a direct conversation about the children with your ex-partner then you should try and arrange a time to sit down together in the next few weeks to discuss. If you feel that you might need some help having a civil conversation but think you’ll be able to reach an agreement then try places like Relationships Australia which offer a free mediation service. NB you might have trouble getting an appointment before Christmas.
If you don’t feel that there is a level playing field and reaching agreement without the involvement of third parties will not be possible then seek legal representation now. Don’t wait. Almost all matters resolve during a private mediation, where each party is accompanied by their lawyer who can guide them towards an agreement which would be supported by a court. We often tell clients how important it is for both sides to have a lawyer so that they each understand what the law considers reasonable and what the costs involved in not reaching an agreement are.
It is still possible to get a private mediation date before Christmas but don’t leave it much longer!