What does the Coronavirus mean for family law?

Shikha Luddu, March 2020

The Coronavirus continues to headline news outlets across the world with the Australian Government yesterday implementing compulsory 14 day isolation for all people returning from overseas to “slow the spread”.

Whilst schools and universities remain open, for now, the impact of the Coronavirus is being felt far and wide with businesses taking sensible precautions to limit the risk and impact of the virus.

At Schetzer Papaleo Luddu we are taking all precautions whilst also ensuring matters are able to progress with minimal disruption. Currently we are limiting face to face meetings with clients where possible and instead taking appointments via phone or Skype conference call. This will allow matters to continue as normal and also ensure clients are able to receive advice safely and without delay.

The Federal Circuit Court and Family Court have also changed their policies relating to parties and practitioners attending Court. As of last week the Courts have restricted all practitioners and parties returned from overseas or affected by the Coronavirus from attending at Court and requested they instead seek an adjournment of their matter.

In relation to what impact, there may be on matters, inevitably matters in Court may see delays as parties, particularly parties that may be overseas are forced to seek an adjournment of their matter.

There may also be an impact on financial settlements as the economy reacts to the pandemic. Assets may be depleted particularly as a result of shares plummeting or smaller family businesses losing value. It may well be that the small business market will be worth significantly less that what it was prior to the pandemic. One can only hope for the impact to be minimal. Whilst it is still too early to predict the impact, this will have to be a consideration for clients in finalising their financial matters.

Whilst there is no way to predict the full impact the Coronavirus will have on the family law sector, the immediate need is for clients to take all precautions to ensure they are self-isolating when needed and putting their health first.

If you have any queries relating to the Coronavirus and your matter or if you wish to speak with one of our practitioners call us on (03) 8602 2000.

  • (03) 8602 2000
  • admin@spllaw.com.au
  • 5/170 Queen Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
  • 8:00AM - 5:30PM Monday to Friday

areas of expertise

  • Property settlements
  • Separation and divorce
  • Custody (parenting arrangements)
  • Court proceedings
  • Financial agreements (including pre-nuptial)
  • Intervention Orders
  • Mediation
  • Round table conferences
  • Independent Children's Lawyer
  • Same sex couples (LGBTIQ+)
  • The rights of grandparents
  • International family law
  • Estate planning and elder law
What does the Coronavirus mean for family law? was last modified: March 31st, 2020 by spllawyers2019