Family Law COVID-19 List in Family Court of Australia – By Tamara Kotowicz
The restrictions imposed on families during the pandemic has created isolation, financial pressures, stress and uncertainty. These have led to added pressures to families and in many cases difficulties in implementing parenting arrangements.
In response to the increase in family law disputes that have arisen as a direct result of COVID-19, the Family Court of Australia has developed a dedicated list to fast-track matters which require urgent consideration.
Importantly, eligible matters will be given a court date before a Judge or National Register within 3 business days or earlier if considered critically urgent.
In order to be eligible for a matter to be considered under the list your dispute needs to be as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic, be urgent, be capable of being dealt by electronic means and if safe to do so, reasonable attempts have been made to resolve the issue, but were unsuccessful.
Examples of applications that may be suitable for filing in the COVID-19 list include:
Where supervised contact is no longer able to be facilitated due to contact centre closure or family members no longer being available to assist;
Due to border restrictions the child(ren) are unable to travel;
The parent or child have tested positive for COVID-19 and unable to fulfil their parenting obligations;
There has been an increase in the risk to the family due to family violence which has resulted from the restrictions imposed on families.
The Magistrates Court of Australia also continues to operate should you or members of your family be at risk of family violence and require a family violence intervention order.
Should you or your family be at immediate risk you should call Victoria Police on 000.
Please do not hesitate to contact our office to discuss whether or not your circumstances meet the eligibility criteria for this list or require assistance with a family violence intervention order matter.