It is said Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year and, at Tiyce & Lawyers, we truly believe that.
We also know it takes planning. Many of you, like our principal, Michael Tiyce, will have your Christmas menus and decorations planned 18 months in advance (it is true, he does).
What planning goes into family gatherings when families are separated and living across borders, some of which we have seen shut hard? Remembering that circumstances change fast but that our overworked Courts and staff have been quick to adjust to those changing circumstances, we have compiled a checklist from sending out cards to filing applications.
The Family Court of Australia knows Christmas can be tough for some families. There is a rule under the Family Law Rules that provides for a filing deadline. You can forget about that this year. While the Court can deal with matters urgently, and there is even a COVID list dealing with matters arising from the COVID pandemic (and often border issues), it is expected that parties will exercise judgement and responsibility in organising their affairs.
Christmas lunch plans falling apart because you haven’t addressed the issue with your former partner by Christmas Eve? There isn’t a lot that can be done. Look at those arrangements now.
Christmas Checklist – Amended for 2020!
- Christmas cards go out – everyone needs some Christmas cheer early this time of year!
- Put up a cheeky Christmas tree (or three).
- Christmas carol time!
Mid October – Christmas shopping will have to be done differently.
- It seems everything is online now. You can buy Christmas presents from buyfromthebush.com.au, sign up to Peters of Kensington like half of Sydney or cruise the Christmas catalogues of Liberty of London or F&M – none of us are flying anywhere too soon so why not splurge if you can.
- If you don’t have a parenting plan or Court orders, you need to start a conversation with your former partner about Christmas arrangements. Talk early so that you know whether you will need to engage lawyers and a mediator or make an application to the Court.
- Christmas party invitations start rolling in, if we are lucky/allowed.
- If you haven’t reached agreement with your former partner, book an appointment with us. Christmas is fast approaching and you need to get organised. We can help with negotiations/mediation, or if necessary an urgent Court application.
Mid December (in NSW anyway)
- Children finish school and the holidays start. For those of you outside NSW remote teaching while still working, well done. You have earned this break.
Mid to late December
- If you filed an application with the Court, it is likely that the matter will be listed in mid to late December. It is not unusual for parenting matters to be listed on Christmas Eve pending the availability of the Court. For those applications the Judge will make orders to ensure that there is certainty for children over the Christmas period.
- The annual drive to look at the Christmas lights and montages. My prediction is that people will be going all out this year.
- The big day! Crack open the champagne, open some presents and enjoy the day with family and friends (consistent with the public health orders in operation!)
- Recovery, maybe some shopping at the sales (probably online). You made it!