These are very difficult times. COVID-19 has created stress and uncertainty in almost every aspect of our lives in a way which is simply unprecedented. The situation is changing daily, and it is almost impossible to turn our mind to anything but the safety and well-being of family members and the community as a whole.
Despite the uncertainty at the moment, we recognise many people are still required to deal with their family law matters, as it is so important that parenting arrangements, financial property settlements and other matters which arise following a separation are resolved as soon as possible. Sadly, we foresee the potential for many more issues to arise as a consequence of this pandemic.
We at Neilson Law are here to assist you with your family law matter, to take the stress and uncertainty away, and allow you to focus on the health of those close to you during these tumultuous times.
To ensure the safety of our staff, during COVID-19 lockdowns, we will operate remotely. We can assist our clients via telephone, email, or video conferencing. While everything else in the world seems uncertain you can be assured, we will continue to provide the highest level of service as we help you resolve your family law matter as quickly as possible.
Our clients have had a lot of questions regarding COVID-19’s impact on their matter, so we have collated some tips to assist.
What about my children and COVID-19
When you are separated and co-parenting children, it is normally expected you will make important decisions regarding the children with the other parent. For example, if you want to keep the children home from school or day care then in most cases you should do so in consultation with the other parent.
Similarly, we suggest you contact the other parent and have a conversation regarding how you will deal with any potential isolations, quarantines or lockdowns that may be coming. Being prepared helps make everyone feel secure and safe.
Some of the matters that should be discussed include: –
- Are you both comfortable with the children attending school?
- Who will take care of the children if one of you or them becomes sick?
- What will occur if school holidays are extended?
- What support you can offer the children in this time?
- With many public areas such as school and restaurants being closed, will changeover location need to be changed?
If there are Court Orders or a parenting plan and you consider it is in the children’s best interests to temporarily vary the parenting arrangements, you should obtain specific legal advice about your obligations which will be specific to the circumstance and the Parenting Plan or Orders in place.
Should I delay my matter?
Although the times are uncertain, that is no reason for you to delay in taking steps to move on with your life. There may be some benefit in taking control and removing yourself from situations of conflict which can be heightened due to stress and financial pressure. It is important to look after yourself and do what is right for you. If you have children, then an early resolution of parental disputes is normally of benefit to them as well.
My matter is already in Court, what will happen?
As you would expect, many of the Courts have implemented alternate arrangements for appearances. Currently matters are being heard via video-link or telephone call. As a consequence, we have been experiencing a number of scheduling changes with our clients as the Court tries to service families electronically. We are happy to assist you with ascertaining what is required of you by the Court to ensure things run as smoothly as possible.
If you have any queries or simply want someone to take the pressure off when it comes to your matter, contact our office and have your initial appointment TODAY to alleviate some of the stress and uncertainty.
We offer free contactless initial consultations via Zoom, Skype or telephone, at your preference.