Blog

What happens to my parenting plan or court orders now that the NSW/Victorian borders are closed?

Gemma Butler

10 Jul 2020

Topics

  • COVID-19
  • Family Law

Over recent weeks we have watched Victoria grapple with a second outbreak of COVID-19. This has caused the NSW Government to close the border with Victoria from midnight Tuesday 7 July 2020.  

In this short blog, Gemma Butler discusses what this announcement means for parents with parenting plans and court orders in place.

Parenting plans and court orders

On 1 July 2020, the NSW Government issued a Public Health (COVID-19 Interstate Hotspots) Order (COVID-19 Order) specifying that the NSW/Victorian border is to close from midnight Tuesday 7 July 2020. For those with parenting plans or court orders that provide for a changeover to occur that requires crossing the border, the announcement can present a challenge, particularly in relation to school holidays.

However, under the COVID-19 Order, there is an exemption that allows people to travel into NSW where they are fulfilling a legal obligation or giving effect to a court order. This means that even though there is a border closure in place, parents with parenting plans and court orders can travel across the NSW/Victorian border to ensure they are complying with the terms of the plans or orders.

To travel across the border, parents and children entering NSW are required to obtain a COVID-19 NSW Border entry permit. You can apply online and the process is relatively straight forward. In addition, for those children who live in Victoria and are travelling to NSW or the ACT, there is a further obligation that once the child arrives at their residence in NSW or the ACT, they must self-isolate for 14 days.

As such, parents with parenting plans or court orders should endeavour to fulfill the terms of the plans or orders where possible. During this challenging time, and particularly during school holiday periods, parents are encouraged to be accommodating where practicable, and to be reasonable and focus on what is in their child’s best interest.

How can we help?

If you require further advice regarding the NSW/VIC border closure and what implications it has on your parenting plans and orders, please do not hesitate to contact our Family Law team on 02 6285 8000 or by email.

For further information regarding the border closure please go to: https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/what-you-can-and-cant-do-under-rules/border-restrictions