How Family Law Changed to Accommodate COVID-19

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North Sydney, NSW, March 2022: It’s not unique to Family Law, every industry across the globe had to figure new ways to conduct business while operating in the COVID-19 pandemic. The Family Law system in Australia began rolling out restrictions to maintain the functions of Family Court and Federal Circuit Court of Australia throughout the health crisis. What followed was the introduction of a suite of initiatives designed to address the need to reduce community transmission of COVID-19 while facilitating the continued operations of the court. Pre-COVID might have taken individuals several hours including travel and wait times at the courthouse but with the changes in place to maintain the health of the community, these same processes could take place in a matter of minutes without either party having to leave their offices or homes.

As expressed by the Chief Justice in the 2020 annual report: “…given the essential service the Court provides to Australian families, it was simply never an option for the Court to close or reduce its operations beyond what was absolutely necessary”. Subsequently, the first of new health measures passed including the Joint Practice Direction 2 of 2020: Special Measures in Response to COVID-19 which allows for parties to sign legal documents electronically without witnesses.
To accommodate the needs of individuals in urgent matters, the court allocates shortened return dates on legal matters deemed urgent of three days, and seven days if not urgent. Solicitors of Edwards Family Lawyers have prepared and run numerous court-appearances virtually since March 2021 and will continue modernising their practices should these benefits survive the pandemic.
For more information, visit: www.edwardsfamilylawyers.com.au

North Sydney, NSW, March 2022: It’s not unique to Family Law, every industry across the globe had to figure new ways to conduct business while operating in the COVID-19 pandemic. The Family Law system in Australia began rolling out restrictions to maintain the functions of Family Court and Federal Circuit Court of Australia throughout the health crisis. What followed was the introduction of a suite of initiatives designed to address the need to reduce community transmission of COVID-19 while facilitating the continued operations of the court. Pre-COVID might have taken individuals several hours including travel and wait times at the courthouse but with the changes in place to maintain the health of the community, these same processes could take place in a matter of minutes without either party having to leave their offices or homes.

As expressed by the Chief Justice in the 2020 annual report: “…given the essential service the Court provides to Australian families, it was simply never an option for the Court to close or reduce its operations beyond what was absolutely necessary”. Subsequently, the first of new health measures passed including the Joint Practice Direction 2 of 2020: Special Measures in Response to COVID-19 which allows for parties to sign legal documents electronically without witnesses.
To accommodate the needs of individuals in urgent matters, the court allocates shortened return dates on legal matters deemed urgent of three days, and seven days if not urgent. Solicitors of Edwards Family Lawyers have prepared and run numerous court-appearances virtually since March 2021 and will continue modernising their practices should these benefits survive the pandemic.
For more information, visit: www.edwardsfamilylawyers.com.au