Queensland Border Closures impact Family Law cases
Border closures and shared parenting
COVID-19 continues to play havoc with the every day lives of millions of Australians.
The most recent change to Queensland’s border entry because of COVID-19 took effect from 1am on Saturday 8th August 2020. Under the ongoing public health emergency on 7th August the Queensland government issued Border restrictions Direction (No.11) which superseded prior directions and expanded border restrictions.
The Queensland border is now closed to most people from Victoria, the ACT and New South Wales which have now been categorised as COVID-19 hot-spots by Annastacia Palaszczuk’s government. There are few exemptions, and in most cases even returning Queenslanders will now have to go into 14-day mandatory hotel quarantine stays at their own expense.
We can expect to see impacts upon many families with travel and visits now ruled out until the restrictions are lifted. With the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus it could be quite some time before anything resembling normality returns.
Exemption where a legal obligation relating to shared parenting
There are some exemptions to the restrictions including, from a Family Law perspective, to ‘fulfil a legal obligation relating to shared parenting or child contact‘. Evidence of legal obligation relating to shared parenting will be required to cross the border without having to immediately go into quarantine. Being able to provide court-issued documentation is now necessary to cross the state’s border from the affected hot-spot areas.
In Family Law, cross-border parenting arrangements are not at all unusual. The new restrictions will probably see great disruption to informal arrangements. Whilst those who have legally formalised their parenting arrangements should still be to be able to continue with those arrangements they ought to anticipate border crossing delays.
You can access the full text of the Direction by clicking here.
Legal help is available
If your parenting arrangements have been affected by the new Border restrictions, or if you are worried that they may be, you should obtain legal advice as soon as possible. We offer a FREE half-hour consultation in new Family Law matters. This consultation can be in person, by phone or video conference to suit you.
Call us today on 07 5597 3366 to arrange a time to discuss your situation. Or, if you prefer, simply complete the ‘Contact Us’ form below and let us know a suitable time to contact you.
For more information on this topic please contact Margaret Miller, Partner and Family Lawyer. This article has been prepared by Bell Legal Group for general information purposes only. It is not legal advice and should not be relied upon as such.