Whilst we recognise that this is a challenging time for all, navigating through family issues at a time of uncertainty can be difficult. The Family Court of Australia and the Federal Circuit Court of Australia (the Courts) are acutely aware that the current pandemic is having an enormous impact on families and the Australian community.
It is understandable to have concerns regarding complying with parenting orders and what should be expected of you by the courts during this time. Every family’s circumstances are different, and it is imperative that during this time that parents and carers act in the best interests of their children.
To be consistent with your responsibility, parents and carers are expected to comply with court orders in relation to parenting arrangements, unless reasonably unable to do so. A reasonable excuse could include a health professional directing you and the children to go into quarantine. During this time it is important to communicate with the other party if safe to do so and make sensible and reasonable arrangements in relation to children by agreement. If a change to parenting arrangements by agreement are agreed upon, it is important to record the changes in writing whether it be by means of text, email, or a parenting application. This will be particularly important if there are later family law proceedings and will assist all concerned, including the Court, to understand what agreement may have been reached.
If you are in the situation of not being able to come to an agreement with the other parent, or there are no orders in place, mediation can be arranged though the mediation services available. Alternatively parties should seek legal advice to assist to negotiate arrangements that are in the best interest of the children. .
Although the current situation is unprecedented, isolating and overwhelming, you and your children’s safety and well-being are still our main priority. Here at Duffy & Simon we will continue to service the needs of our new and existing clients with the utmost sensitivity and understanding to provide advice and assistance in relation to parenting matters.
Please contact our office to arrange an appointment to discuss.