Going through a family law matter is one of the most stressful times of your life. The outbreak of the coronavirus is an added stress on families, so it would be understandable if you were feeling a little anxious about how your family law matter will be dealt with during COVID-19. The good news is that not much has changed regarding the conduct of your matter.
If you have recently separated, we are available to take your enquiries and meet with you (via telephone or video conference, if you prefer to see our faces!). Most correspondence was already exchanged electronically so there is no change here.
If you are scheduled to attend a mediation or you need to book in a mediation for property or parenting arrangements, this will proceed as usual. Most mediators are currently conducting mediations by phone or video conferencing, rather than by face to face.
The Court is still operational, however for most cases you will not be required to physically attend the Court for your scheduled court event. We will communicate the arrangements specific for your case as they arise, however most court events are taking place by telephone link. This is not a new concept for the Court or solicitors, and can actually be an advantage to you as there is generally less waiting time than there can be when you are physically at the Court (meaning you pay less legal fees).
Depending on your situation, it may be more beneficial to you to reach an agreement for property settlement during times like this e.g. to take advantage of any decline in the property market if you are the person who is to receive the property. Parenting arrangements can become confusing in a time of crisis, so it is important that there is a clear agreement in place so that the children remain in a consistent routine as much as possible.
The Court has prepared a handy list of questions and answers on most common topics for family law matters which can be found on their website here. We encourage you to contact our office if you need family law advice during this time. We offer a low fixed cost for initial appointments and payment arrangements are available in certain circumstances.