Blog post by Sam Lehman
Summer is around the corner and with it comes school holidays, Christmas, New Year and a deluge of last-minute court applications for parenting orders.
That’s right, it’s that time of year again—the time when the Family Court and Federal Circuit Court brace for an influx of family law applications relating to the summer school holiday period.
Whether it’s parents debating who gets the kids for Christmas or New Year’s Eve, or even who gets to take the kids for a holiday, too often parties leave it too late to seek court orders if these arrangements haven’t otherwise been agreed well in advance.
Fastest finger first
The problem is that the courts simply cannot cope with all matters in a timely manner.
It’s a well-known issue, but what most people don’t realise is that the court rules require that any application for parenting orders regarding the care arrangements of children relating to the December-January summer school holiday period must be filed before 4.00pm on the second Friday in November of the application year.
Non-urgent applications filed after the deadline will be allocated a court hearing in the usual way but the courts cannot guarantee that such applications will be dealt with before Christmas. Indeed, the fact that an application relates to the summer school holiday period will not in itself justify a hearing before Christmas—it could be after Christmas, and possibly significantly later.
Don’t be late
Applications filed before the deadline aren’t guaranteed to get an early listing either—but the chances will be substantially improved.
If you haven’t yet agreed on contact and parenting arrangements for the summer school holiday period, now is the time to seriously consider whether you need to file an application in the Family Court or Federal Circuit Court.
This year, the deadline falls on Friday the 13th of November—an unlucky date for some. Don’t let it be unlucky for you.
Our local, Adelaide-based team at Culshaw Miller Lawyers can help you file your application to maximise your prospects of securing the results you want, when you need them.