School holidays can already be stressful times of the year but, for separated parents without any formal arrangements in place, this stress can be exacerbated. Discussions and negotiations taking place at the last minute before a school holiday period makes it hard for any parent to make plans.
Formalising arrangements for children can be undertaken by way of a parenting plan or consent order.
A parenting plan is a less formal arrangement and is not enforceable. However, it allows parents to document their agreed arrangements for the children and can be a great way for parents to have clarity and certainty about parenting arrangements and expectations. This will also allow parents to make plans and book holidays with the children in advance.
The other option parents have to formalise parenting arrangements is by way of a consent order. A consent order is a court order made by agreement between the parents. A consent order is legally enforceable and if a party fails to comply with the terms of consent order the other party can bring enforcement proceedings. The consent order will continue until the children are 18, unless the parents agree to amending the consent order or there is a significant change in circumstance.
Whichever way you choose to formalise your parenting arrangements, we strongly recommend that you do so well before the school holidays commence. It can sometimes takes weeks or months to finalise all of the details of an agreement and the last thing you want is for the school holidays to commence without any arrangements in place.
For more information, download our free parenting arrangements fact sheet. If you would like assistance in formalising an agreement already reached or you need help reaching an agreement, please contact our family lawyer Toowoomba.