VIC What Do Family Court Orders Mean Regarding School Holidays?

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Well-Known Member
5 February 2016

Just a bit confused on the school holiday arrangements on the family court orders. It doesn't specify a time or date for half the school holidays.

Currently, on the family court orders, it says that during the school term/kindergarten holidays, the child is to spend time with the father on the second half of the holidays in 2016 and each alternate year thereafter, and for the first half in 2017, unless otherwise agreed in writing, no less than 7 days before school holidays commence.

So I'm a bit confused what half would be?

My son finished kinder for this term today 15th of September, but it says school holidays start on the 17th of September to the 2nd of October. Then there are terms which they finish 16th of September to the 3rd of October. So would it be Saturday to Saturday? Or Friday to Friday?

Any help would be appreciated, thanks.


Well-Known Member
23 July 2014
Usually, orders include a paragraph that clarifies how half holidays are calculated, or otherwise what day changeover takes place.

For ours, school holidays are deemed to commence when school finishes on the last day of term according to the government's published term dates, and they are deemed to conclude before school on the first day of the following term (again, as published by the government).

We count the nights, half them, and changeover takes place at 5:00pm on the day that constitutes half. If there's an uneven number of nights, dad retains the additional night in Term 1, Term 2, Term 3 holidays.

By this calculation, half is usually 9 or 10 nights, so it's never Friday to Friday, or Saturday to Saturday, but it is the formula I would use to calculate half holidays. Use the state government's calendar of holidays and term dates to work it out so it's always consistent.
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Well-Known Member
27 September 2015
My ex used to delight in this. Do the holidays start on the Friday (last day of school) Saturday? Or the Monday the weekend after school broke up. I'm a teacher, so she'd delight in including student free days as 'holidays' , but only if it screwed me around. What about at the end of the they end on the Friday before school goes back or the Sunday?

So if it says half holidays but there is a public holiday attached, hence 15 nights. Well how to split that in two?

Please don't be like my ex... The answer? There isn't one except this - common sense.

Oh - I'm also assuming dad pays child support and works... I reckon it a great idea to be sensitive to his work commitments - after all, those work commitments are where the child support comes from. And conflict over this stuff is hell - makes it impossible to organise holidays because of uncertainty over dates and does nothing but cause a whole lot of conflict.

I'd suggest you ask the ex how he wants it done, you have about 15 years of this ahead of you, make it easy...

It has been 5 years since my marriage ended. For 4 years, there were fights every holidays. She even wasted money on solicitors to try and make me agree with her plans even if it meant I had less that 50% of holiday time. It was madness... Meanwhile my partner calls her ex a few weeks before each holidays. They have a nice chat and get it sorted like adults. Easy.

Final thought - Provide options so the kids spends more than 50% with dad. Why? Well, you have the kid most of the time, right? Giving an extra night here or there will only bring you good karma.
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