In a time that is uncertain for many and has already seen numerous Australians impacted both financially and emotionally by restrictions that have been implemented thus far, there remains a lot of uncertainty surrounding Family Law matters. This is in the context of what effect those restrictions and any future restrictions have on both past and present family law matters including court proceedings, orders and parenting plans. There is currently and understandably concerns held by parties who are in the midst of family law matters.

The Court has recognised that there are a number of questions that the public have regarding how these changes may impact them and their families and have helpfully put together a questions and answers page available on both the Family Court of Australia and Federal Circuit Court of Australia websites. These updates provide some guidance on how the Court is responding in this unprecedented time. That information can be found at the links provided below:

Information for Parents - Questions and Answers - Family Court of Australia - click here

Information for Parents - Questions and Answers - Federal Circuit Court of Australia - click here

What is comforting and clear from that update is that the Court remains open and available to assist Australian families in these challenging times. At this stage, most (if not all) hearings are being conducted via video conferencing through the use of Microsoft Teams or other platforms, or by telephone, and the Court is continuing to conduct mediations electronically and through other safe means.

We appreciate that this is a confusing time for all Australians, and it is likely to add to the stress that is already brought about by separation and the breakdown of a relationship. If you are in a situation whereby you are unsure or concerned about the effect of COVID-19 on your parenting arrangements, or your family law matter more generally.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.