COVID-19 – Surge in Urgent Cases in Family Law in Australia

February 21, 2022    Familylawyers
COVID-19 – Surge in Urgent Cases in Family Law in Australia

With over 2 years of the world suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been huge impacts in every sector. One of them is the surge in urgent family law cases in Australia due to several implications of the pandemic.

The family lawyers Perth WA are helping their clients in Western Australia with their property settlement cases, divorce cases, and other civil matters in this pandemic through electronic processes.

Let’s understand the effects of COVID-19 on family law cases and the change in methods for filing a civil case.

Impact on Families and Children

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected several families across Australia, leading to separation of parents and court legalities concerning child custody. Some cases have also involved:

  • failing to comply with changeover arrangements, and
  • several children not being able to travel for spending time with their other parents because of travel restrictions within Australia like government travel restrictions and seats on planes.

Even within the states, there had been travel restrictions. In Western Australia, travel restrictions extend to travel only within the district. It posed various difficulties, for instance, when a mother and her children might be residing in Perth, and the father is far away working in Pilbara.

In matters of international surrogacy, too, there have been difficulties such as intended parents traveling overseas for attending the births of their babies and then not being able to return to their home country with their babies.

Effects of COVID-19 on Property Settlement

  • The value of a “property” has to be considered in a property settlement case, for instance, the former family home, family business and shares and/or superannuation, including an SMSF, may have effects by the unfavourable changes in the economy, both internationally and domestically.
  • The valuations conducted in this period may have potential positive or negative impacts, depending on whether you are financially stronger or weaker side in a property settlement case.
  • It may also require negotiations between the two parties to agree on a settlement, and if an agreement is not reached, a private Mediation needs to be organised facilitated by a qualified Mediator.
  • If a party has a current prenuptial Binding Financial Agreement, whether you are in a marriage or de-facto relationship, it becomes all the more crucial in this period to discuss if those Agreement terms remain legally “suspended”, “in-force”, or “discharged.”

You can get in touch with a leading family lawyer Perth to discuss your case of property settlement.

Effects of COVID-19 on Child Support

  • The reality is that a child’s costs of living and education, such as school fees, medical or dental expenses, private health insurance, etc., need to be paid for despite COVID-19.
  • If a person’s income has reduced, if one is unable to work and/or made redundant in this period, the child support amount, periodic and/or non-periodic, that needs to be received or paid according to a Court order or the agreement between the parties may be affected.
  • It may also require negotiations between the two parties to reach an agreement of an “adjusted” child support amount, and if an agreement is not reached, a private Mediation should be organised facilitated by a qualified and experienced Mediator.
  • If an individual has a current written Binding or Limited Child Support Agreement, it becomes all the more important in this period to discuss if those Agreement terms remain “suspended”, “in-force”, or ”discharged.”

If you want to fight for the custody of your child following a divorce, you should approach the leading child custody lawyers Perth and discuss your case with them.

Reaction of the Courts

With the first wave of COVID-19, the restrictions were enforced, and there was adjournment in the physical appearances in the Family Law Courts. The courts issued a list of directions on how to respond to COVID-19, which includes the following:

  • In-house assessments at the family law courts by family law consultants of families to now occur electronically.
  • Conciliation conferences and any other appearances before the Registrars to occur electronically.
  • Appearance before the judges to occur electronically.
  • No physical documents were to be filed; instead, all documents were to be processed through the court’s online portal. Prior to this, some documents couldn’t be filed through the portals, and there was always a provision to physically file documents.
  • The Federal Circuit Court of Australia, together with the Family Court of Australia, have made a COVID-19 list for emergency or urgent matters arising from the pandemic.

The COVID-19 List Requirements

In order to file an urgent application, an applicant must file the following through email:

  • The application
  • A supporting affidavit using the COVID-19 affidavit template, which should not be more than 6 pages
  • An urgency cover letter should be made following a template letter
  • The required document mentioning the risks of family violence or child abuse


If you are seeking a divorce in this pandemic, contact one of the top-rated lawyers’ firms, the Family Lawyers Perth WA, who have experienced divorce lawyers in Perth WA who can smoothen your divorce proceeding.

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