COVID-19 outbreak: Will it affect my family law matter?

The COVID-19 outbreak has affected society in a number of ways. For those with ongoing family law matters, you may be wondering whether the COVID-19 outbreak will affect your family law matter.

The short answer is yes, it may.

Here are some of the ways it may affect your family law matter:

  1. Courts: information is regularly being released from the Family Law Courts in relation to immediate changes that are being made to court operations. At the moment, these changes include:
  2. Matters involving child related and family violence aspects, urgent and priority trials and contested hearings will remain listed.
  3. Non-urgent property trials (and some non-urgent parenting trials) may be adjourned for an appropriate time.
  4. Trials or hearings that can be conducted by telephone will be.
  5. There will be a cap on the number of people allowed in a courtroom at any one time.

See the Federal Circuit Court page for more information.

How does COVID-19 affect my current parenting arrangements with the imposed restrictions?

Parenting arrangements: parenting arrangements may not fit current circumstances. For example, a child may usually travel interstate to spend time with one parent. How can communication be maintained between that child and parent? Many changeovers occur in public places which may close. Is there an alternate venue where changeover could occur?

Does COVID-19 affect payment of child support?

Child support: the amount of child support that is paid and received may be affected if a parent has a reduced income, is not able to work or is made redundant.

Does COVID-19 affect my property settlement?

Property settlements: the value of property to be included in a potential property settlement (eg. a business or superannuation) may be affected by changes in the economy. Valuations conducted during economic tightening can have a negative impact

To discuss how COVID-19 may affect your family law matter, please contact us to make an appointment to talk to one of our family lawyers over the phone or by video link.

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