The COVID-19 List
COVID-19 has caused significant uncertainty to the life of Australians and this is profoundly so for many parents who have not been able to spend time with their children, whether or not parenting orders are in place. Naturally, this uncertainty has seen a significant increase in urgent applications being filed in the Family Court of Australia and Federal Circuit Court of Australia (“The Courts”). In direct response to this uncertainty and the urgent applications, the Courts have established two dedicated, national specialist lists named the COVID-19 List.
The COVID-19 List will deal only with urgent family law applications filed as a direct result of COVID-19 with National COVID-19 List Registrars who will triage any application and make appropriate orders for case management. Applications that meet the COVID-19 criteria will be given a first return date within 3 business days of being considered, or less if assessed as critical by the National Registrar.
Specifically, the COVID-19 list will deal with urgent matters concerning the following:
- The suspension of supervised contact as a result of the Contact Centre being closed or the supervisor being unable to perform their duty;
- The effect of border restrictions on parent and child arrangements requiring travel between states;
- If a parent and/or child have tested positive for COVID-19;
- Family violence; and/ or
- If the parties have not been able to reach an alternative agreement to resolve their dispute.
If COVID-19 has directly impacted you and your time with your child, or has caused challenges with parenting matters, then you should contact one of our specialist family lawyers to obtain advice in relation to whether your matter can be dealt with through the COVID-19 list. If not, our solicitors can advise and assist you in reaching agreement through alternative sources of dispute resolution.