Parenting Arrangements for Special Days – Contributed by Family Intermediary

Family Intermediary has an accredited and experienced mediator to assist you with your post-separation parenting matters. With Christmas approaching, it is eminent to consider how your children will spend time with each parent. This short blog outlines some of the considerations when devising parenting arrangements for special days. 

As we get closer to Christmas, a very unusual Christmas for that, with COVID-19 still lingering around in Australia, it is eminent that I write about special days in parenting arrangements.

When discussing special days it is important to note that every family is different and therefore, what might be considered a special day or special holiday by one family might not be for another. This is true with all other aspects of family mediation, you only ever have to discuss topics that are relevant to you and your family.

These are some of the days that families consider to be special days(the list is not exhaustive):

  • Christmas

  • New Year’s Eve

  • Chinese New Year

  • Easter (Christian and Greek Orthodox)

  • Eid and Ramadan

  • Public Holidays

  • Mother’s Day and Father’s Day

  • Birthdays (Children’s and Parents’)

  • The children’s Birthday Parties

  • School Holidays

There are a few different ways that parents can tackle special days in mediation, depending on what the usual arrangements are and what works for the family, in particular the children. There are a lot or variable at play.

  1. Special days can mean that the usual care arrangements are suspended for that time and a different arrangement is made for the special day. A good example is Christmas. Christmas can be considered as just the 25th December (the actual day) or Christmas Eve and Boxing Day as well. This will therefore mean that during that Christmas time, you ignore the arrangement that you usually follow and devise a new arrangement for that period only.

  2. Some families like the idea of continuity and therefore carry on with their usual arrangements even on a special day, with the hope that it will all even out over the years.

  3. Special days can be shared equally on the days that parents choose that each parent definitely has to spend time with the child, this often comes up on the children’s birthdays and Christmas day.

  4. Those that choose to spend a whole day/block of days, with the child might choose to alternate the arrangement each year.

  5. You might be surprised that some separated parents choose to spend time together with their children on special days, including on trips away. There is absolutely no issue with this if it works for your family.

  6. Other parents like to keep special days open to discuss closer to the time. This is where they feel they will not have problems reaching a mutual agreement without a mediator present.

Prior to attending your mediation session it is important to consider the holidays that are important to you and your family. It’s not uncommon that separated couples from different cultural backgrounds or a different upbringing will have different days that they consider to be special and those are the conversations that your mediator can help you navigate.

Remember :

It is also important to include handover times and locations for special days for clarity.

There is no harm with trialing your arrangements to make sure that they work for your family.

Here’s hoping that all families have their Christmas arrangements sorted for 2020 and that you will have a stress-free and wonderful time spent with family and friends.

Merry Christmas from all of us at Family Intermediary.

Post-separation parenting Parenting Mediation Parenting special days


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