The COVID-19 event continues to unfold, with ongoing changes to everyday life due to necessary Government Rules to ensure the health and safety of the Australian public.
The Family Court of Australia and Federal Circuit Court of Australia remain open to assist parties with their family law matters. The Courts have published material to give general guidance to parents as to what the Courts expect from them in these unprecedented times and also have published a series of Questions and Answers for parents who may have concerns relating to parenting arrangements amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The upshot is that parents are expected to comply with Court Orders in respect of parenting arrangements including attending court events (by electronic means) and complying with child transfers between households.
The caveat to these publications is that the Court acknowledging that it is understood that “every family’s circumstances are different”.
Accordingly, if you have any concerns or you are uncertain about your legal obligations, you should seek advice from a lawyer practicing in family law who will guide you having regard to the Government’s response to the ongoing COVID-19 event.
Information about the Court’s response to COVID-19 is being published regularly by the Courts on the Family Court and Federal Circuit Court websites.
A Statement from the Honourable Will Alstergren, Chief Justice, Family Court of Australia and Chief Judge, Federal Circuit Court of Australia in relation to Parenting Orders and COVID-19 published on 26 March 2020 and a radio interview with Chief Justice Alstergren published on 27 March 2020 is available here:
The Q&As are available from the Family Court of Australia website:
And the Federal Circuit Court of Australia website: