COVID-19 is causing significant disruption to the lives of our Australian families and the community. We are all concerned about how this virus may affect our overall health and wellbeing, regardless of whether you and your partner have separated. In these times, it is important that we continue to act in the best interests of the children.
Prior to the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, you and your former partner may have already agreed to an arrangement for the children and/or had Court Orders made. It is important that you continue to abide by that agreement and/or Orders to the best of your ability. This may become difficult, or even impossible, in circumstances including pick up arrangements no longer being available or safety concerns due to exposure to COVID19.
The first step during these times will be to have a discussion with your former partner about the measures that you have taken to avoid the risk of infection. Be considerate of each other and your concerns. You may have to revise your current arrangement if compliance becomes difficult keeping in mind the intention of the original arrangement.
For those who are also experiencing a family breakdown or cannot reach an agreement on how to navigate this situation with your former partner, we are still here to assist in conjunction with the Family Courts. We have all made some changes for this to occur including conducting both client conferences and court appearances by videoconferencing or telephone. The Court has also allowed the signing of documents to occur via electronic signatures and for the documents to be sworn over the telephone or videoconferencing.
Please keep in mind that the response to this pandemic is continuously changing and we will continue to monitor the situation and keep you informed of any changes to the operations of our office and the Family Courts. If you have any questions about your individual situation and the best approach, please contact us in Bathurst, Oberon, and Lithgow on 1800 650 656. We're here to help you and your family.
Lauren Ryan | Solicitor