As the end of the year approaches, you may be considering what the care arrangements for your children might look like around Christmas and the summer school holidays. It is important that parents turn their minds to this sooner, rather than later.

This is because, except in urgent or extenuating circumstances, the Family Court of Western Australia requires any application seeking parenting orders during the 2020 Christmas holiday period to be filed in the Court Registry before 4:00pm on Friday 13 November 2020 (FAMILY LAW RULES 2004 – RULE 5.01A). If such an application is filed later than that, you may not have the chance of being heard in the Court before Christmas comes around. Indeed, with Covid-19 restrictions in place and it being a busy time in the Court in any case, the sooner your file before this deadline, the better.

What does this mean for you? If you and your former partner have not reached an agreement about the care arrangements for your children this Christmas and you are unhappy with what might end up being the care arrangement, you may have to consider making an application in the Court, before the deadline, for the care arrangement you are seeking. If you want to finalise the matter without proceedings in Court, you might consider engaging in negotiations or mediation with your former partner within the next few weeks, to help reach an agreement and finalise respective Court documents. If you are already a party to proceedings in the Family Court of Western Australia, or think it likely in the coming weeks that you will be, you will need to consider making a further application in the Court for the Orders you seek before the November deadline is up.

Remember that the Family Court of Western Australia is still following Covid-19 restrictions, which do affect how and when documents can be filed. We suggest you call the Registry, or seek legal advice, on the best way to get your documents before the Court in time.

D’Angelo Legal’s family law team is happy to assist you with advice, negotiations, mediation and Court proceedings relating to the care of your children post-separation, including arrangements for care this coming Christmas season. To learn more, call our offices on (08) 9381 1147.