Family Law & the Covid-19 List
Covid-19 vaccinations are now available for children 5 and over as well as adults. Anyone under the age of 16 years must have parental consent to be vaccinated. Who can give this parental consent?
There is a presumption that both parents have equal shared parental responsibility unless there is a Court Order stating otherwise.
If you have an Order from the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (“the Court”) for sole parental responsibility, you are not required to consult the other parent when considering if your child should be vaccinated, however you can.
Where there is an Order for equal shared parental responsibility both parents should have input when considering if your child/ren should be vaccinated. This requires that both parents reach agreement on the issue.
It is noteworthy that parents involved in a Covid-19 dispute related to parenting matters need to be sensible and reasonable when attempting to resolve such an issue. There are certain consequences for unreasonable behaviour, including cost consequences. Furthermore, the Court will priorities the best interests of the child/ren.
Where parents cannot agree, and where practical and safe to do so, parents may like to consider participating in family dispute resolution to reach an agreement with the assistance of an independent mediator. If parents still cannot reach an agreement and judicial intervention is required the Court has a special “Covid-19 list”.
The Covid-19 list was announced on 26 April 2021 and aims to provide direction (and where necessary, a decision) in relation to a Covid-19 dispute. The Court aims to have these matters before a National Registrar (or a judge where necessary) within 72 hours. The Court will not hear a matter in the Covid-19 list unless it has a direct link to Covid-19, or Coivd-19 restrictions (such as cross-border disputes, medical conditions, time spending being suspended doe to Covid-19 and/or family violence due to Covid-19). These matters, whilst usually will be before a judicial office very quickly, may also require further material to be provided to the Court (such as medical reports) and can also be referred to a family consultant.
If you would like further information on this topic or if you require any assistance with a Covid-19 related issue, the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia has a range of documents and brochures available.
Rudall & Rudall Lawyers have an experienced team of lawyers in Gawler, Tanunda and Adelaide to assist you. Please Call us on 8523 8400 (Gawler) 8523 8444 (Tanunda) or 8211 6500 (Adelaide) to arrange an obligation free first appointment, or alternatively send an email to email@example.com and we will contact you.