What is a good guideline if there isn’t a Parenting plan in place for contact during the school holidays and special occasions?
This varies on age of the child/ren and their maturity, overnight contact is not recommended by the Family Advocate for children under two years old.
A shorter period is advised for children under six years of age by the Family Advocate up to six days overnight at a time.
For children over six years old, usually short school holidays are alternated. This means that usually one parent has the child/ren for the September/October school holidays and the other for the March/April school holidays. These are then alternated so that the next year the other parent will have the September/October school holidays and the first parent will have the March/April school holidays.
Should either parent not have leave for this extended period of time, the short holidays can be divided equally.
It is common for both parents to get every alternate Christmas Day and Easter Day.
Long school holidays, December/January are usually shared in equal portions. This is alternated so that if one parent has the first half of the particular holiday, the next year that parent will have the second half of a particular holiday.
All contact depends on the child/ren’s age and maturity and if the child/ren are not able to cope with extended periods away from one parent, these time periods should be shortened.
It is usual for the child/ren to spend Mother’s Day and her birthday with the mother and Father’s Day and his birthday with the Father. Both parents should see the child/ren for a portion of the child/ren’s birthday/s regardless of whose contact time it is.