Changes to Family Court Process during COVID-19

The Family Court of Australia and the Federal Court of Australia have established a streamline filing system to help the courts deal more urgently with COVID-19 applications. The process applies to applications which are urgently filed as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of the process there needs to be an explanation of how the dispute has directly arisen as a result of COVID-19. The matter also needs to be capable of being dealt with electronically and, where possible, reasonable attempts must have been made to resolve the issue before coming to the courts. Examples of suitable applications may include those for changes to supervised contact arrangements, dealing with border restriction measures, COVID-19 related medical issues, or increases in instances of family violence due to restrictions. The process will mean cases can be dealt with as quickly and efficiently as possible by streamlining the manner in which they are delegated to the relevant Justice. The relevant necessary documents can also be signed electronically and without a qualifying witness in order to ensure lockdown restrictions are adhered to.

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