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How many nights is two thirds access on all school holidays?

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A court orders a father has two thirds of all school holidays, father thinks time should start from break up day until day before school resumes....

The court orders that the access time must alternate every year….first 2 thirds one year….second 2 thirds the next year.  Is it possible the mother has not allowed the first and last weekends in any of the holidays to be counted (even though they were not discounted in the court orders) so that the access time over the year never accumulates to 52 nights???  thus, her parenting payments were increased?  (forgive my ignorance on this issue, but I don't have a "single mother on welfare with multiple kids of multiple father's mentality", thankfully).

This has been going on for 6 years and has been a contentious issue, and we never understood her rationale.  The kids are now teenagers so the issue is no longer valid - we understand they'd prefer to spend time with their own friends, than either of their parents, so we don't press the point.  However, in previous years we battled it, and it cost us a lot of time and money in re booking flights (one time we rebooked airfares 3 times for the one holiday period due to 'mother superior's' inflexibility and bloody mindedness).  She always checked the cost of the flights we booked, then refused them so we would have to book more expensive flights.  Found out recently that CSA frowns on this.

Just curious, if anyone is interested in weighing in on this subject.  Hopefully it will help newbies become more aware of such matters.

A very good question and I think one that is asked by many people. The general rule of thumb I believe, is that school holidays start as they are gazetted, i.e. the Saturday. However, I am aware of one matter, I cant recall the case name as it was a while ago that I read it, where it was said school holidays start from after school when the interpretation of the orders was brought before the court.

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on the site (Look for the Avatars).   Be mindful what you post in the public areas
Perhaps what could be a good idea, would be the creation of a pamphlet along the lines of "The pitfalls of some contact orders - what not to and what to include". Perhaps this could then be distributed via the CSA, the courts, lawyers and other organisations. Perhaps such bodies could then be approached in regard to funding the production of such a pamphlet.
That is a good idea Mike, as sometimes what may seem like a good order may have long term disadvantages. There is actually a document along the same lines on orders available on SRL-R.

Last edit: by Liberi Primoris

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on the site (Look for the Avatars).   Be mindful what you post in the public areas

Calculating School holidays is often a contentious issue.

Case Law is full of poorly worded clauses relating to School Holidays. If a person chooses to be difficult they tend to find fertile ground on this issues.

It was common to write orders relating to school holidays in terms of "Gazetted School Holidays. Of course if the child attends a private school the holiday periods are often different to what has been gazetted for public schools.

Another fertile area for contention is the definition of "commencement and conclusion" or what defines  the mid point.

Many courts are now writing orders in term of the "last day the child is to attend school" and "the first day the child attend school is term x".

On the issue of the mid point, one judge i know of ordered change over to occur on the Saturday immediately after the mid point..

On other occasions a specific date in January is ordered for change overs.

In reality, if orders are necessary, they should be clear and unambiguous leaving little room for interpretation.

For me - Shared Parenting is a Reality - Maybe it can be for you too!
My hubby's order for his kids states that the holidays are calculated from the last day of the school term to the day before school recommences. This period includes anypupil free days. He gets the kids for half the holidays.The orders also state that the change over time is 5.30pm on that last day. So we calculate how many nights are in that period eg. This eatser break is12 nightsand he gets 6. So if he has the first half of the holidays he gets from 5.30pm on the last day of the term until 5.30pm on the seventh day - 6 nights. If there is an odd number of days it states that he gets the extra night.

We do up a calendar every year so both parents know which nights are spent where.

Last edit: by Secretary SPCA

Guest, that is a good way to put it in the orders.

If you look at the school calendar (in Qld) at least, the calendar does not include the weekends. On the face of it, the "gazetted" holidays run Monady to Friday then.

Better to be specific (even a little pedantic), than ambiguous.
Yes it is easy to understand and makes life so much simpler.  We just need to know the state school holidays and if there are any pupil free days which we find out at the start of the year on the Ed Dept website.

Our orders are very clear about drop off and collect times and who is responsible for collecting and dropping off.  There really is nothing left up to interpretation - which is just the way we like it.
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