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4 Tips for Successful Christmas Parenting Arrangements

November 5, 2023

Whilst the fast-approaching Christmas holiday period should elicit feelings of joy and togetherness, it is common for many separated parents to be hit with waves of anxiety surrounding their parenting plans or orders, or lack thereof.  The most important thing to remember is that children will also likely be feeling just as anxious as the parents, but with a lower capacity to think rationally and truly understand the decisions that the parental figures in their lives are making.  We’ve put together our top four tips for ensuring this festive season runs as smoothly as possible.  

1. Have an agreed plan

Whether it’s court orders, a parenting plan or an informal agreement between parents, it’s important to clearly outline the parameters surrounding Christmas Eve and Christmas Day ahead of time so there can be no room for misunderstandings which may lead to tension or conflict.  If the children are to spend the entire holiday period with one parent, it may be helpful to put together a phone call or FaceTime schedule so that the children can have meaningful contact with their other parent throughout this time.  

2. Communicate plans with your children

Although it may be difficult to align final decisions with your children’s expressed wishes, it is important to take into consideration what those desires are.  Children will feel more at ease when they feel included in decision-making.  In circumstances where their wishes aren’t able to be met, take the time to sit down with them and communicate exactly why certain decisions have been made.  

3. Consider multiple pathways

It’s essential to be open to exploring different options for parenting arrangements during the Christmas holiday. Keeping in mind the children’s best interests, it may be helpful to consider alternative arrangements such as rotating Christmas celebrations between both parents or splitting the holiday period. Being flexible and looking at multiple pathways can help find a solution that works for everyone and reduces any anxiety or conflict surrounding the holiday.

4. Ask for help

If you’re still struggling to communicate with a co-parent, or you can’t seem to reach agreement no matter how hard you try, it’s not a bad thing to seek assistance.  Love Family Lawyers are experienced in all matters relating to family law and we understand the stressors associated with the holiday period.  Contact us today for a no-obligation initial consult and we’ll be able to discuss the best options for you and your family this holiday period.  

Lisa Lucas

Lisa Lucas

Legal Bookkeeping & Accounting

Meet Lisa, our seasoned professional who joined our team in August 2022, boasting an impressive background of over two decades in accounting. With a solid foundation in IT and a Bachelor of Science under her belt, Lisa’s journey evolved as she not only managed her own accounting firm but also earned postgraduate degrees in both accounting and commercial law.

In her pivotal role, Lisa is instrumental in maintaining the firm’s compliance and ensuring seamless operations. Her wealth of experience brings a wealth of knowledge to our team, contributing to our success and client satisfaction.

Beyond the numbers, Lisa finds balance in her life through activities like Pilates and walks with her beloved dogs. Her dedication, expertise, and passion make Lisa an invaluable asset to our team, driving us towards excellence in every aspect of our work.

Amy Hayslep

Amy Hayslep


Amy joined our team in December 2022 as a receptionist, where she plays a vital role in managing our firm’s administrative support and daily operations. 

Her commitment to excellence and efficiency has greatly contributed to the smooth running of our office. 

Amy is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Business with a focus on Marketing at the University of the Sunshine Coast, a testament to her dedication to professional growth and understanding of business dynamics. 

Amy’s aspiration to integrate her marketing insights into her current role demonstrates her forward-thinking approach and commitment to continuous improvement. Outside of work, Amy enjoys Pilates, baking, and gardening.

Jon Staby

Jon Staby


Jon was born in Windhoek, Namibia and moved with his family to Brisbane in 2005. Jon is currently studying his Bachelor of Laws and aims to complete it by the end of 2024. 

Jon has been currently working as a Paralegal since April 2023 and has a keen interest in all family law areas.  

Jon believes in the law to empathetically and expertly help clients to reach the best outcomes for their unique circumstances. 

In his free time, Jon’s hobbies include painting, playing basketball with friends, and watching television shows with his pet cat Luna.  

Serena May

Serena May

LLB (Hons) BBus

Serena was admitted to the profession in 2022 and holds a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and Bachelor of Business from QUT. 

Serena has previous experience as a Barrister’s Assistant in family law as well as working in a mid-tier commercial law firm in property law, wills and estates, employment law and construction disputes. This experience has provided her with the opportunity to learn from an array of senior legal practitioners before choosing to specialise in family law.

Serena is passionate about ensuring her clients feel well informed throughout their matter. Serena acknowledges every personal circumstance is unique and no other person knows exactly what it is like to walk in your shoes. 

Serena recognises that clients are often experiencing immense stress and require compassionate and efficient communication from start to finish to empower them to move on to the next chapter of their life.

On her weekends Serena enjoys heading to the coast for a surf and spending time with her poodle pup, Miss April May.

Michael Johnson

Michael Johnson

Practice Leader – Founder

Michael was awarded a Bachelor of Laws with Honours from QUT in 2012, and was admitted as a lawyer in 2013. 

He also has a Bachelor of Science from UQ which he was awarded in 2007 (before deciding that a career in law would be more interesting than science).

Michael has practiced exclusively in the areas of Family Law, Child Safety (Care and Protection), and Domestic Violence since mid-2014. 

Michael has experience as a Separate Representative for children in Child Safety cases and has appeared on behalf of hundreds of people in Family Law and Domestic Violence cases in Queensland and the ACT.

Michael’s experience means he has a particularly keen insight into how to best avoid Court and he has an excellent record of settling cases quickly and without unnecessary conflict and cost. 

That said, he also knows how to best prepare and conduct litigation if Court becomes unavoidable, and he will expertly guide you through even the most complex and delicate case.

Michael takes a genuine interest in his clients and will make sure that you are properly advised in a way that is easy to understand, without all the unnecessary jargon that so many lawyers love to use. You can trust Michael to be direct, flexible, and empathetic. 

When he is not at work, Michael loves being in the outdoors, whether that’s fishing from his kayak or working in the garden. He also loves to cook and experiment in the kitchen.

Matthew Watt

Matthew Watt

Practice Manager – Founder

As one of the founders of BWJ Law, Matt is an indispensable member of the executive team. 

He plays a pivotal role in the day-to-day operations of the firm, focusing on implementing operational strategies and realizing the organization’s vision. 

This ensures that all employees are equipped with the necessary resources to perform at their best, delivering unparalleled service to clients.

An active member of the Australasian Legal Practice Management Association (ALPMA) and an associate member of the QLD Law Society, Matt consistently stays updated with the latest in legal practice management. 

He recognizes the significance of continuous professional growth, ensuring that he offers the best support to legal practitioners. 

Moreover, he adeptly manages a diverse range of corporate and strategic responsibilities inherent to the role of a practice manager.