Gold Coast, Queensland: Separated and divorced parents intending to talk to, see or travel with their children over the holidays have until 4pm this Friday to lodge their Application with the Family Court of Australia, a Gold Coast lawyer has warned.
Jones Mitchell Family Lawyers’ Belinda Chitts today said, “The application is designed to make sure children are put under as little stress as possible, by giving them and their parents a clear ruling on what’s happening during an already emotional time of the year.”
The Application for Parenting Orders covers interstate and overseas travel and care arrangements of children over the Christmas, New Year and school holiday period and is designed to ensure Christmas has a sense of order and stability for children of parents going through separation and divorce.
“Our preference and aim is to try and reach an agreement by Consent, however, for many families this is not possible and they will need to approach the Court to have Parenting Orders made to cover the Christmas holiday period and beyond,” she said.
Jones Mitchell Family Lawyers have set up a hotline for parents wanting to get their Application drafted and lodged urgently – the hotline number is 1300 813 331. Their lawyers are also offering the option of live chat via the firm’s Facebook page.
The firm has also prepared a freely accessible guide for parents confronting the holiday season. The guide can be found on their website https://www.jonesmitchell.com.au/the-christmas-survival-guide-for-separated-parents/.
“Talk to an experienced family lawyer today to help in opening dialogue with your co-parent about Christmas parenting arrangements.
“Remember that seeing parents involved in conflict about Christmas arrangements can adversely impact on a child’s Christmas experience, so be ready to consider different options, and to ‘problem-solve’ creatively and with an open mind in order to avoid the need to go to Court.”
The filing deadline exists as a way of making sure the high volume of Application for Parenting Orders can be processed prior to the holiday season. Given there are already delays in the Court system, it is wise to act quickly as there may not be enough time to have a matter heard prior to the Court’s Christmas closure.
About Jones Mitchell Family Lawyers
Jones Mitchell Family Lawyers was formed in 1990 by Warwick Jones and David Mitchell. At the time it was the first and only specialised family law firm. The law firm has operated in Southport for the last 28 years, negotiated outcomes for over 2500 cases, and has been a key mentor for over 25 family lawyers across the region. It is recognised as a First Tier Family Law Firm on the Gold Coast by Doyles Guide.
About Belinda Chitts
Belinda is an experienced family lawyer and was admitted as a Solicitor to the Supreme Court of Queensland and High Court of Australia in 2013. She is a member of the Family Law Practitioners Association, Queensland Collaborative Law, the Family Law Section of the Law Council of Australia, and the Gold Coast Collaborative Law Practice Group.
Editors note: this post was updated to reflect the current situation in 2018