Can a parent take away gifts given by an ex-partner?
Understand the guidelines and legal considerations for handling children's belongings and gifts between separated parents. Contact us for personalized legal advice.

What are the expectations at changeover regarding the child(ren)’s belongings?

Generally, there is an expectation that when a child(ren) spends time with one parent that they will return with all of their belongings including clothes, toys, devices that were provided at changeover in a clean and tidy manner. This might mean washing the clothes they arrived in and packing them with the child(ren)'s other belongings or re-dressing them in those clothes if appropriate e.g. the changeovers are both on school days so re-dressing them in their school uniform is fine or both on non-school days where casual clothes would be appropriate.

What if communicating with the other party is not currently going well?

In some cases where the communication is not as good as hoped, the parents will each keep a set of clothes, shoes, toys etc. at each home so that it is not necessary to send school uniforms etc. at changeover.

Can the other party legally take away a present I gave the child(ren)?

It would be unusual for a parent to remove the gifts given to a child(ren) by the other parent because that would likely cause upset to the child(ren) which is not in their best interests. However, there is no provision in the Family Law Act which means that they cannot do that.

In what circumstances would it be in the best interests of the child to take away a present?

Some parents would not like to have devices such as tablets, mobile phones etc in their home from the other parent because of security concerns especially if there is a Protection Order in place or where the parents just have not agreed about the child(ren) being given those devices.

Ideally you would be able to speak to the other parent and reach an agreement about what happens with the gifts that are given and whether they will transfer between households or not. If they are not going to, it would be best to explain that in a child focused way to the child to avoid confusion.

What do I do if the other party and I cannot agree about the gifts given to the child(ren)?

If you are facing such difficulties or issues when you send gifts to the other parent you may want to consider keeping the gifts at your home so that they are available when the child(ren) spend time with you.

If you have any other questions on this matter, or any other concerns with your current parenting arrangements, please contact us on 07 2113 4645 to schedule your initial consultation.
Related articles
Blog: When can a child choose which parent they want to live with, in Australia?
Legal age for children to decide which parent to live with in Australia
Blog: Grandparents’ Rights In Family Law 2024
Explore the impact of family breakdowns on grandparents and their legal rights in Family Law 2024. Discover how the law supports these crucial family relationships and the steps grandparents might take to maintain contact with their grandchildren
Blog: My teen won’t comply with our Family Court Orders! What do I do?
Struggling with a teen not adhering to Family Court Orders? Understand your legal obligations, the importance of your teen's perspective, and steps to take for compliance.
Blog: Can I change my Family Court Order regarding the care and living arrangements of my children?
Learn how to change your Family Court Order for children's care and living arrangements due to significant life changes. Legal advice and steps explained.