Most final parenting orders refer to Children spending time with their Mother on Mother’s Day and similarly their Father on Father’s Day. To many family law practitioners those Orders are merely standard precedent Orders that may get thrown in without much thought. In my view, the way those special occasion Orders are implemented provide a unique insight into each parents effort to facilitate their child’s relationship with the other parent.
The Family Court and Federal Circuit Court places significant weight on each parents ability to facilitate the Childs relationship with the other parents when determining what is in a Child’s best interest. Moreover, social science and psychology research indicates that it is important for a child to see that despite the relationship breakdown, their parents still value one another’s role and relationship as the child’s parents.
For some families facilitating the Childs relationship with the other parent on special occasions may even mean taking the Child shopping for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day gifts. For others it may mean making sure to include those special occasions in Interim parenting orders to ensure that special occasions are acknowledged by both parents. While this may seem like a given to some people, in practice leaving out special occasion orders may be the difference between children spending time with their Mum on Mothers Day or Dad on Fathers Day.
While it may be lucrative for lawyers to run to Court each time a special occasion arises and there is no provision for that occasion in parenting orders it is not practical nor is it in the best interests of children. If you have concern that your current parenting plan or orders do not provide for special occasions contact us so that we can review those orders.