COVID-19 and maintaining Court Orders (2021 UPDATE)

COVID-19 and maintaining Court Orders (2021 UPDATE) 18 August 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced lifestyle changes upon all of us, but as a separated parent you may find yourself querying whether your new normal still means that you can adhere to your Family Law Court Orders and, most importantly, that the safety of your children is maintained.

The Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia has issued guidelines about what is expected of parents. Parents are expected to comply with existing Court Orders, but it is acknowledged that strict compliance may not be possible, for example where changeover takes place by one parent delivering the children to school at the beginning of the day and the other collecting them later that afternoon.

The Courts are urging parents to communicate with one another to try and reach a practical solution that follows the spirit of your Orders. This isn’t always easy. If a conversation with your ex has not been constructive, we are here to help you. We are still open, and, as always, there are many ways in which we can assist you to resolve your matter. Mediation conferences are running remotely and in the worst case scenario, the Courts are still dealing with cases.

2021 Court Orders Update: 

  • New Court advice suggests that if parents usually conduct changeover by dropping off or collecting their children from school and are unable to agree on a new changeover spot during the COVID-19 lockdown, then changeover should still take place at the school.
  • Under the current Public Health Order, children are permitted to move between households in accordance with existing parenting arrangements.

As always, the best interests of your children and their safety and wellbeing are the paramount consideration. If you have any concerns about your current Court Orders, it is important that you speak to your lawyer as soon as possible. Contact Us on (02) 4943 3988 if we can be of further assistance to you.

This blog was written by Senior Associate,
 Liz McIntyre
Liz practises in the areas of Family Law, Wills & Estate Planning,
Deceased Estates, Wills disputes and Conveyancing

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