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‘Tis the Season to be Settling

Tis the season to be settling

Neal Wood

This December rounds out my eighth Christmas working in family law and without fail the last few weeks in December always bring a flurry of activity as the end of the year approaches.

For the most part during that time I recall being in the office on the last business day before Christmas assisting at least a couple of clients to sign off on a final property settlement or parenting arrangement.

Without fail there are always two issues that really come to the fore at this time of year:

  1. Making sure that the kids get to where they are meant to go for Christmas and the summer holidays; and
  2. reaching agreement on a property settlement and getting it finalised before the end of the year.

My colleagues have written some wonderful articles about the holidays and parenting over the Christmas period which you can read about here –

When it comes to property settlement in December, the desire to reach a negotiated outcome or resolve Court proceedings is always that bit more powerful.

While the world of medicine and neuroscience has probably described the phenomenon in far more sophisticated terms, I’m certain that the time of year does play a role in resolving conflict. So much of what we do in family law is about the emotional side of dispute and not just what the law says should happen. Rather than resisting that emotion, for the most part it is about being aware of what is going on and helping our clients to channel those feelings in a productive way that helps lead towards resolution.

December and the lead into the holiday festive season brings with it that sense of counting down the days to the end of the year, looking forward to enjoying some down time or a holiday and the warmth that comes from generosity and giving. The approaching New Year’s Eve and the 12 months ahead provide a natural opportunity to take stock and reflect on the good and the bad of the previous year and look ahead to what lies ahead.

That alignment between the end of one calendar year and the beginning of the next, with the emotional desire of wanting to bring one time in your life to an end and starting afresh can truly make all the difference in resolving a difficult family law conflict. From my experience, December often brings out the best in people and tends to see more matters resolving on good terms than any other time of year.

While being in the office in the days just before Christmas is not everyone’s ideal beginning to the festive season there are few greater rewards as a family lawyer than being able to bring that much needed resolution to a client’s matter and sense of relief that comes from knowing that the next year is theirs to enjoy.

As these last couple of weeks before Christmas approach it’s still not too late to consider what it might take to resolve matters before the end of the year. Be confident that we will be here to assist in any way we can to make that happen, and contact our team of family law experts in Toowoomba and Brisbane.