The school holidays can be a stressful time for most families, but for separated
families trying to juggle breaks and family commitments often results in conflict and stress. Children may miss out on time with one parent and families may experience disharmony about this.


Not all parenting plans are at risk, but even plans that may have been working may buckle under the pressure of deciding who has which days over Christmas. It’shard enough having to negotiate with your immediate family and extended family in addition to your ex-partner’s too.


Take the story of Paul and Christie who found themselves at loggerheads 2 years after separation. Their private agreement seemed to be working for a while, they had arranged for the festive season to be shared equally from year to year. This year however, Paul was invited to spend Christmas with his new girlfriend’s family interstate, but Christie was reluctant to relinquish her time with the children this year because she had already made holiday plans. Sarah and John reached a deadlock and couldn’t reach agreement. Their lawyers recommended family mediation.


With the help of a mediator Christie and Paul were able to develop a structured parenting plan that met the children’s needs and was flexible enough for their family lifestyles. The mediator assisted them to resolve issues with communication, time spent with the children, special days such as Christmas, relocation and financial matters that had been bothering them for some time.


Douja Elhajj is the principal mediator at A resolution. A resolution offers a timely, premium and affordable services. Contact 1300 ARESOLVE or visit for a FREE PARENTING PLAN.