What will Easter mean for our parenting arrangement?

16-March-2024 Family Law By Angelika Turner

Easter is fast approaching but my ex-partner and I both want to spend time with the kids over the Easter long weekend. What do we do?

The key to surviving the Easter period is communication and forward planning, especially if you do not have a parenting plan/agreement which outlines who spends time with the children on public holidays.

Parenting Plans

A parenting plan is an agreement (generally a written agreement) which sets out parenting arrangements for children. Parenting plans include arrangements for parents and children but can also extend to other significant people in a child’s life, including grandparents.

Typically, the first considerations that parents turn their minds to when they separate is “when will I be spending time with the kids?” and “where will the children be living?”. It is commonplace for parents to make arrangements around changeover and how often they will spend time with their children. However, it is easy to forget that special allowances need to be made for special occasions such as the Easter long weekend.

Child Focus

The most important consideration when formalising a parenting arrangement is what is in “the best interests of the child”.

The Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) provides a set of criteria which set out what is in the best interests of a child. Amongst other additional considerations, the primary considerations are:

  1. The benefit to the child of having a meaningful relationship with both of the child’s parents; and
  2. The need to protect the child from physical or psychological harm or from being subjected or exposed to abuse, neglect or family violence.

It is important to have realistic and practical arrangements for the Easter period. Some considerations you should have regard to are:

  1. How far will the child(ren) have to travel over the Easter weekend?
  2. Are there additional family members that the child(ren) will benefit from spending time with over the Easter period?
  3. Will it be beneficial to move the child between residences multiple times over the Easter period?
  4. Should you alternate years and have the child(ren) on Easter Sunday every second year?
  5. Is it practical to travel overseas with the child(ren), if the other parent will miss out on spending time with the child(ren)?
  6. Can we video call the parent who is not spending time with the child on Easter Sunday or at other times during the Easter holiday?

Open communication with your former spouse in relation to the children is significant to ensure that your Easter holiday is as joyous as possible. If you are unable to communicate with your former spouse, we can help you navigate this process.

If you are separated or considering separation and need assistance with drafting a parenting agreement, call and speak to our family law team today on (02) 8197 0105. We can help guide you towards the resolution of your parenting dispute, as well as all other aspects of family law matters.

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