The COVID-19 List which has been announced by the family courts is designed to fast track urgent COVID-19 applications. These are applications that are filed as a direct result of the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Contact our experienced Brisbane Family Lawyers or our North Brisbane family lawyers  if you would like some practical family law advice and regards options available to you. We can assist you in all areas of family law, including regards parenting arrangements as well as related COVID-19 issues, family law property settlement and maintenance claims. You are also welcome to read on for further information right now regards urgent COVID-19 issues………

The following information summarises certain details set out in the Joint Practice Direction 3 of 2020 – The COVID-19 List (published on the website of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia).

The Family Court COVID-19 List (or Family Court coronavirus list) recognises that issues that are arising as a direct result of COVID-19 (coronavirus) may need  to be dealt with on an urgent basis by the courts if parties cannot resolve the issues themselves.

Getting your matter on the COVID-19 List is a way to fast track a court hearing of issues that arise as a result of coronavirus. Examples of issues that may be considered for the COVID-19 List include

a. Family Violence The restrictions imposed on families as a result of COVID-19 have led to an increase in family violence as families are remaining at home, with parents out of work or working from home whilst children also require supervision learning online from home.

b. Supervised Contact  A parent who was usually spending supervised time with children at a contact centre may no longer be able to do so where the contact centre is closed due to COVID-19 concerns. Parties should try to reach agreement for some other form of contact time such as zoom or team viewer sessions for the children with that parent. If agreement cannot be reached, then an application for inclusion on the COVID-19 List may be appropriate.

c. COVID-19 Infection and illness A parent and/or child may test positive for COVID-19. The parent may not be able to care for a child whilst in quarantine or whilst that parent is ill.

d State Borders Closed Usual parenting arrangements may not be possible where parties live in different states and border restrictions prevent children from moving between parent’s households.

If your Application meets certain family court COVID-19 criteria, you will be given a first return date. On that date, your Application will be heard electronically by either a National Registrar or a Judge. That will happen within 3 business days of your Application being considered by the National Registrar, or less if your matter is assessed as critically urgent.

The COVID-19 List Judge will only hear the discrete COVID-19 application or make interim orders to deal with urgent circumstances. Once that issue is dealt with, the remainder of your matter will be case managed in the normal processes of the Court.

Filing an Application in the COVID-19 List

The Application is filed by email. Unless it is unsafe to do so, the person making the Application (Applicant) must copy the other party (Respondent) into the email when emailing the documents to the Court to put them on notice of the proceedings.

When filing an application in the family court COVID-19 List, the Applicant must file:

a. The Application;

b. A supporting affidavit of no more than 6 pages using the COVID-19 template affidavit;

c. A cover letter for urgency;

d. In the Federal Circuit Court, a Notice of Risk or, in the Family Court, a Notice of Child Abuse, Family Violence or Risk of Family Violence (if applicable).

If you are making the Application, the Affidavit must:

a. Explain why your matter is urgent;

b. Explain how COVID-19 (coronavirus) has directly caused the dispute between you and the Respondent;

c.Provide details of any current allegations of risk to children or parties, such as a risk of child abuse or family violence;

d. Provide details of reasonable attempts that you or the Respondent have made to resolve your dispute through negotiation, or details of why it was not safe to try to resolve your dispute by negotiation; and

e. Provide details of how you propose that the Respondent be provided with a copy of the court documents as well as details of the Respondent’s current email address (where known); and

f. Annexe or attach a copy or photo of any current family law orders, parenting plans, or family violence orders.

Contact our child custody lawyers Brisbane or our child custody lawyers Brisbane Northside for advice concerning your family law issues. We are able to advise you concerning any area of family law.  Our goal is to assist our clients to reach an amicable agreement with their former partner without the need to go to Court. If however court action becomes necessary, we have the experience to represent you at Court.

The information set out in this blog is not a substitute for legal advice. We recommend that you obtain advice tailored to your particular circumstances from LGM Family Lawyers Brisbane.

COVID-19 List Family Court