The Family Courts have experienced a significant increase in the number of urgent applications filed over March and April and in response have established a temporary COVID-19 List which commenced on 29 April 2020.
It is intended that the list will identify and deal with matters which need the Court's urgent attention because of factors arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications made will be triaged by a dedicated Court Registrar, and if required, will be heard by a judge within 72 hours of being assessed.
Cases which will be suitable for the COVID-19 list include:
- Matters of family violence and the increased risk to those involved due to COVID;
- Matters where the current parenting arrangements require supervision, and the usual supervision is no longer available due to centre closures or the supervisor is no longer available to perform that role;
- Matters where the parents live in different States or Territories and border restrictions make travel between the households impossible;
- Matters where parents have been tested positive for COVID-19 and cannot fulfill their parenting obligations.
Parents are still required to attempt to settle any dispute through alternative dispute resolution prior to making an application to the court when it is safe to do so.
The list will be in operation for a period of 3 months after which it will be reassessed.
We understand how stressful Family Law can be even at the best of times. COVID-19 has created new issues and challenges, for both families and the Courts. We are pleased to see the Courts reacting to people taking advantage of the crisis and also providing urgent relief and certainty for those who have recently-separated.
For any questions relating to parenting, property, or separation, please call our experienced team on 1800 650 656. We're here to help you and your family.
Lauren Ryan | Solicitor