5 FAQ’s On How COVID-19 Will Affect Parenting Arrangements

We have received many enquiries regarding how the COVID-19 situation affects people’s family law matters. We will regularly upload blog posts to answer popular queries that we receive and provide updates on this evolving situation.

5 FAQ’s on how COVID-19 will affect my parenting arrangements.

1. Will this change my Parenting Orders?

Parenting Orders are binding and you must continue to obey them unless you have a “reasonable excuse” not to do so. To understand what constitutes a reasonable excuse or if you can’t agree, please call us for a no obligation discussion.

If your Orders do not cover all of the changing circumstances then you and the other parent may need to agree on some temporary changes or back-up plans. It is best to do this as soon as possible as the situation is changing quickly. If you would like assistance in discussing these plans with the other parent, we can help.

2. What happens if schools close?

Well actually, many schools have already closed and there may be more on the way.

If your children can no longer attend school, the standard parenting arrangements will usually apply. If pick ups and drop offs occur at school, you may need to agree on a new changeover location if you don’t have a default position. It is important to keep in mind that some popular places, such as McDonald’s, may no longer be suitable and may even be closed.

School closures may mean that the term one school holidays are extended. Exactly how this affects your parenting arrangements may depend on the wording of your Parenting Orders or parenting plan. Please call us for a no obligation discussion if you’re unsure. If school is closed for an extended period, say months, please call us to discuss.

3. What if I usually spend time with my children at extra-curricular activities which have now been cancelled?

If you usually take your child to an extra-curricular activity that has been cancelled, depending on your agreement or Orders, your child should still spend time with you. You may just need to spend it doing a different activity!

4. Does this change my child support?

If COVID-19 changes your parenting arrangements or the income of one or both of you then it will probably change the child support to be paid.

If you have a child support assessment, you should let them know about these changes.

If you have a private agreement, call us to discuss how the terms of the agreement are affected by these changes.

5. How do we document changes to our arrangements?

Parenting Orders can be changed by a written parenting plan setting out the new arrangements. We can assist you with this.

If you can’t agree then an application to the Court to vary existing Orders or seek new Orders may be required. Contact us for assistance with these issues.

If you have a good co-operative parenting relationship, you may be able to reach an informal agreement however we suggest you record it via email, SMS or in your parenting application.

How We Can Help

If you are unsure about how COVID-19 affects your parenting arrangements or child support, please contact us and our lawyers will be pleased to help you.

It is best to have your back-up plan agreed to as soon as possible because the COVID-19 situation is changing quickly and things like school closures can happen on short notice.

At Resolve Conflict, we are able to offer a range of services to assist you in reaching any further agreements amicably. Please get in touch and one of our friendly staff members will be pleased to assist.

 

Note: This is general information advice only and does not constitute specific legal advice. If you would like further information in relation to this matter or other legal matters, please contact us on 03 9620 0088 or email [email protected]

 

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