Joint Practice Direction 1 of 2021: Family Law Courts COVID-19 List updated
The Federal Circuit Court of Australia and Family Court of Australia (“the Family Law Courts”) have updated the joint practice direction for the COVID-19 List which fast tracks a wider range of family law disputes that directly relate or have a significant connection to COVID-19. The Family Law Courts had introduced the dedicated COVID-19 List early last year in response to the significant rise of urgent family law applications brought on from parenting and/or financial arrangements being changed from the effects of the pandemic.
Joint Practice Direction 1 of 2021 broadens the criteria for family law applications brought in the COVID-19 List to include issues that may arise from:
In an effort to expedite matters, given the urgency generally associated with COVID-19 related family law applications, the joint practice direction now also allows national registrars, senior registrars as well as judges to hear matters in the COVID-19 List. Applications accepted into the COVID-19 List criteria will generally be heard in Court by an electronic platform within 3-7 business days depending on priority.
Parties and litigants should keep in mind the filing and material guidelines for submitting an application in the COVID-19 List in accordance with the new joint practice direction. Some tips include:
The recent joint practice direction can be accessed via the following link: http://www.familycourt.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/fcoaweb/rules-and-legislation/practice-directions/2021/jpd012021
As the Family Law Courts continue to adapt to changes in these uncertain times, Watts McCray Lawyers remain open and are ready to assist parties through the family law system.
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