The Covid-19 pandemic has forced the law into an unprecedented realm. While the Family Law Courts are no exception to the pandemics reach, the Honorable Chief Justice William Alstergren has emphasised that the best interests of the child principle must not be abandoned. While families are currently under enormous pressure with their daily life rapidly changing, parents are still expected to comply with Court orders. It is understood that strict compliance may be difficult, however parents are encouraged, where possible, to discuss practical solutions to issues that arise. Any agreements parents reach should be in writing by email or text messages as these agreements can be used in later Court proceedings. Mediation services are encouraged to resolve disputes and many services are offering phone and video-link sessions. If Court orders cannot be complied with, the spirit of the Orders should be respected.
The Public Health Order published on 30 March 2020 states that all members of the community must stay home except where you have a reasonable excuse. Reasonable excuse extends to include the continuing of existing arrangements for access to, and contact between, parents and children for children who do not live in the same household as their parents or one of their parents.
We understand that negotiating a change to your arrangements directly with your ex-partner may be difficult, especially given the heightened anxiety in the community at the moment.
If you require our assistance to implement alternative arrangements, or confirm existing arrangements, please contact our office to arrange an initial consultation with our family law team.