Family Law Courts respond to COVID-19


Family Law Courts respond to COVID-19

The Chief Justice of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia has just released a new practice direction, creating an urgent list dedicated to parenting matters impacted by COVID-19.

A national bank of Judges is available to hear parenting applications within three days of filing an application if the criteria are met. More importantly, parents are required to show how they have attempted to negotiate a resolution of the issue before being placed on the COVID-19 list unless they can demonstrate it would be unsafe to attempt to negotiate.

All applications for inclusion on this priority list can be filed by email and any hearing will take place by telephone.

The following is the practice direction issued by the Chief Justice with the specific requirements and expectations, including the Pro-forma affidavit to be filed in support of any application (not to be more than 6 pages).

It is refreshing to see how the Family Law Courts have so quickly responded to the current pandemic and utilised electronic means to continue to service the public who are unable to resolve disputes and require a judicial determination.

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