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Family Law Courts during Covid-19 restrictions

Written by Joseph Schepis

In response to a spike in a number of urgent cases that have arisen due to the impact of Covid-19 the Family Court and the Federal Circuit Court of Australia have established an urgent court list to enable parties to be before the Court and have their matter processed and heard within a number of days.

To be eligible to have your matter before the Court in the Covid-19 list an applicant must meet the following criteria:

  1. There must be a direct link between the impact of Covid-19 and the application that is being made;
  2. The matter must be urgent nature and therefore requires resolution immediately;
  3. An affidavit must be filed with the application in line with a format required by the Court which addresses all necessary criteria;
  4. Reasonable attempts to resolve the matter have already been made, provided that it was safe to do so; and
  5. The matter can be dealt with in the absence of physical attendance at court using electronic means.

Examples where the Covid-19 List would be an appropriate pathway may include:

  1. where supervised time is no longer possible due to the closure of Contact Centres and/or professional supervisors being unavailable to supervise time;
  2. where there is an increased risk of family violence as a result of covid-19 restrictions;
  3. closures of state or international borders may affect your ability to spend time with your children and/or facilitate time with the children; and/or
  4. where time with the children is not possible due to one or either of the parties or the children testing positive to Covid-19.

If you are having any difficulties as a result of the Covid-19 restrictions please contact Pearsons Lawyers today for your free initial consultation and Know Where You Stand.

Family Violence & Covid-19

New South Wales Attorney-General Mark Speakman reported that Google searches on domestic violence are up by 75 percent since the first recorded Covid-19 cases in the State. Studies reveal that the incidence of family violence increases after emergencies and natural disasters. Global data indicates that reported family violence has significantly increased in countries like China as a result of the Covid-19 restrictions and the isolation that was required to minimise the spread of coronavirus.

Other factors that can increase the risk of family violence include many of the challenges faced by Australians in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic including financial insecurity caused by loss of employment and housing insecurity.

In response to this increase to the risk of family violence the Federal and Victorian Government are injecting significant funds to assist victims of family violence in these difficult times.

If you feel unsafe or are concerned for someone’s safety, please call 000 or contact the police in your state or territory.

If you require urgent counselling please contact 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732) which is a 24 hour national sexual assault, family and domestic violence counselling line for any Australian who has experienced, or is at risk of, family and domestic violence and/or sexual assault.

If you are experiencing family violence or are concerned for your safety and that of your children please contact Pearsons Lawyers today to discuss your options and the steps you can take to secure your safety and that of your family.

Pearsons can provide discrete advice by telephone or other electronic means. All appointments are strictly confidential and your first initial consultation is free. We will ensure you Know Where You Stand.

Family Violence Covid-19 Resources in Australia

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How Covid-19 has affected the property market and Family Law property settlements

The impact of Coronavirus upon the Australian economy has been significant. The property market has not escaped the impact of Coronavirus noting that significant changes have been made around commercial and residential tenancies which are impacting land owners.

Valuations of real property and businesses undertaken during this period are fraught with difficulty. Values of shares and superannuation interests are likely to have been severely impacted by Covid-19 thereby rendering previously agreed figures redundant.

In these volatile economic times there are a number of important matters for consideration including any negotiations regarding child support, spousal maintenance, refinancing to retain the family home and/or the sale of the family home. All of these have been impacted in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic.

If you are currently negotiating a property settlement it is critical that you take the necessary steps to develop a cohesive strategy to resolve your matter.

We are here to provide you with the strategic advice you need to finalise your property matter during these difficult times.

If you have any queries or wish to have a confidential discussion regarding your property matter please contact Pearsons Lawyers today for your free consultation and Know Where You Stand.

Pearsons Family Lawyers

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