Surviving the Corona Bunker: Separated Parenting Part III

Help is at Hand

Given that the Courts are now limiting the number of matters which can be dealt with either in the actual or virtual world, it is essential that if you need urgent assistance, you will need to think of options outside the mainstream court-based solutions.  In the pre-pandemic world, the Courts were overburdened in any event and this is likely to worsen rather than improve.

Get Legal Advice

If you obtain timely legal advice, your lawyer can negotiate for you and we urge you to consider this as one of the most time and cost-effective ways of achieving a resolution on interim and urgent parenting issues.  We can negotiate and prepare either a Parenting Plan or orders where appropriate.

Even if you already have Court orders and you do not want to be left in any doubt about your obligations, get our advice as to what you can and cannot do.

It is critically important that you do not “wing it”.  It is equally important that you do not make assumptions about what you can and cannot do in this current situation.  As the situation is ever evolving – again it is vital that you know what the current expectations of the legal system is of you as a parent.  There is simply no substitute to you getting sound legal advice.

If you have current Court orders, there are specific obligations and limited circumstances in which you can operate outside those orders.  Again, you should not assume that you can ignore those orders.  You cannot make up a new regime.  You can do anything by agreement with the other parent however these conversations may prove difficult and challenging and you may require assistance in navigating your way.

You need to know what your duties and obligations are.  If you do need to clarify the advice, whilst this may result in a cost to you, it is far better that you know where you stand.  You may need to reach agreement and enter into amended orders which apply to the pandemic period.

As an Accredited Family Law Specialist, I can provide you with timely advice that is specific to your situation and give you options around self help, Parenting Plans, current or amended orders.

Mediating in a Pandemic

As a nationally accredited mediator who offers fixed fee mediations, I have often had to work with couples who live remotely or indeed overseas.  Any aspect of your matter can be mediated using technology, so it is possible to use the services of a mediator in the time of a pandemic.  This would not be face to face but by telephone and using video technology that requires a computer with audio and ideally a camera.  We can conduct pre-screening services and if mediation is not suitable, we can refer you to other agencies to assist you.

Family Dispute Resolution

As a Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner, I can provide you with a fixed fee service which includes a screening process and the FDR mediation session.

Unless your situation complies with one of the few exceptions, prior to you commencing legal proceedings in relation to parenting issues in the Courts, you will be required to undertake mediation. As a Family Dispute Resolution practitioner, I can assist you and your former partner be screened in or out of this process depending on suitability and ascertain if your situation is an exception to the requirement to undertake mediation.

I can then work with your former partner – the other parent – to explore current and pressing issues.  If we are unable to reach agreement, we can refer you to other agencies to assist you and provide you with the requisite s60I Certificate that will allow you to seek relief in the Court, as a last resort of course.

Caroline Counsel Family Lawyers

It is business as usual here at Caroline Counsel Family Lawyers.  Our clients have adapted to us working remotely and no one is missing out on receiving our advice and continued legal representation. If you are new to our firm or are concerned about the current level of legal representation and advice, do not hesitate to contact us for a second opinion.


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