One of the most important tasks during separation and divorce is to make practical parenting arrangements. This could become complicated when the two parents live far apart. If travel between the two homes is necessary, the impact of the travel on the children must be considered.
Whether you agree on your parenting plan or you approach the court for a parenting order, the practical implications must be considered. When deciding on travelling and change over arrangements you need to consider many factors, including:
If your child’s age, or specific needs require different arrangements for different children, you can include that in your parenting plan.
Besides the practical implications, you need to consider the impact the travel will have on your child.
There is no simple answer to that question. It depends on your particular circumstances. What is important is that you consider all the practical factors that might be relevant to your situation. It is recommended that parenting plans and orders deal with changeover arrangements. If the relationship between you and the other parent is difficult, it might be a good idea to make arrangements that do not involve you and the other parent actually meeting each other.
If a judge made an order that turns out to have a negative impact on the child, for example, the child returns too late from visiting the other parent; you can approach the court to appeal the decision to a Full Court.
In a 2015 case, Spurling & Spurling, the Court had to consider such an appeal. In that case, the matter could be remitted for reconsideration of the appropriate change over time.
Seek legal assistance
Even the most detailed orders cannot cover every single situation, and people’s circumstances change all the time. A lawyer will provide you with good advice and will ensure that your plan complies with the requirements of the law regarding travelling and change over obligations.