Covid-19 Updates & News

25 March 2020
Butlers Blog
Covid-19 Updates & the Law
Now, let’s get straight to the point….. There is no need to explain the potential impact of COVID-19 on the economy. It has already been seen around the world with a significant impact on share prices...
21 March 2020
Butlers Blog
Covid-19 Updates & the Law
COVID-19Part 1: Court Proceedings during the COVID-19 pandemicThere is no question that we are now in uncharted waters.The world has not seen an influenza pandemic of this nature since Swine Flu and H...
01 April 2020
Butlers Blog
Covid-19 Updates & the Law
These are unprecedented times.  We are witnessing and possibly experiencing widespread job loss and isolation.  As people do their best to cope with the changes around them, this has been ac...

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Tyler Greatrex

Last Minute Wills – When Time Is Of The Essence

I was recently reminded of the importance of having a valid and up to date Will. A colleague and I received instructions from the son of one of our clients, who had terminal cancer. The matter was urgent as his father did not have a Will and his Estate would have had to be distributed between him and his mother (pursuant to the laws of intestacy).  
It is no surprise that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected Australians in ways that could never have been predicted.  From the immediate closure of our favourite restaurants, bars and clubs to the crippling and devastating effect it is having on our economy, our health, both mental and physical and our social lives.  
As a result of COVID-19 and the strict social distancing laws, the Courts have had to change and modernise many of their procedures. Some of the changes the Courts have made include: Electronic filing of some Court Documents; Posting originals of Documents for filing; Hearings being conducted over the telephone or by video; Allowing Documents to be served via email; and Enabling Restraining Order Applications to be lodged online.
LGBTI Domestic Violence Awareness Day - #ImHereForYou Today is Australia's first LGBTI Domestic Violence Awareness Day. This day has been established, with the support of the Prime Minister, to acknowledge those within LGBTIQ+ communities who have been victims of domestic violence. According to recent studies, up to 62% of LGBTIQ+ people have experienced domestic violence in their relationships. However, the instances of violence being reported to the police are still incredibly low. 
I recently received a notification that I have used 75% of my iCloud storage.  After a bit of digging I found several, dare I say “never seen before” videos, photos, and memes.  Of course, a lot of them were Covid-19 related and were instantly deleted.  Jokes about gaining weight during lockdown were obviously also very popular.  
In recent weeks small businesses have been hit hard by the Federal Government restrictions in reaction to COVID-19.  Doors were shut overnight, and businesses were forced to adapt and adjust their trading systems in the blink of an eye, or risk becoming insolvent.
(Spoiler Alert – Proceed with Caution!) Tiger King is the must-watch Netflix crime documentary of the year. However, it’s characters and content have caused much controversy with its exploration of Big Cat breeding, and the mayhem arising from the eccentric characters of its inner circles.
In the first 24 hours of its launch, the Australian Government’s COVIDSafe Application was downloaded by more than 2 million users. 
RECONCILIATION AND DIVORCE Following the first 2 Parts of our Reconciliation Series, this blog now explores the impact of reconciliation and divorce.  Firstly and most importantly, where parties were married for less than 2 years, section 44(1B) of the Family Law Act requires them to “have considered a reconciliation” with the assistance of a specified person or organisation prior to applying for a divorce.
RECONCILIATION AND PROPERTY PROCEEDINGS Hopefully you have read Part 1 of our Reconciliation Series, which explains the court’s obligation to consider the possibility of parties reconciling.  If the court considers that there is a reasonable possibility, it may adjourn the proceedings so that the parties may explore this. 
Thanks to the current social-distancing regulations, many of us find ourselves spending most, if not all, of our time alone. 
For many of us, spending prolonged days isolated at home with our children is not the norm. With majority of entertainment venues closed and with strict social distancing rules, you may be finding that your beloved children are driving you a little insane. 
Yesterday, 7 April 2020, the High Court handed down it’s decision granting Cardinal George Pell’s application for special leave and unanimously acquitting him of his conviction for child sexual abuse, which was previously upheld by the Supreme Court
The Coronavirus has sparked an increased fear of dying.  Over the past few weeks we have been flooded with instructions to draft and to update Wills.  
For many people, COVID-19 has caused a great deal of uncertainty in areas that they previously regarded as stable: their income, the value of their assets, their ability to travel and even their ability to maintain social connections.
It is encouraging to see young people taking the initiative to ensure that they have up-to-date Wills during the uncertainty we’re facing caused by the Covid-19 Pandemic.  However, it would be even more encouraging if all age groups took this initiative to review their Wills, and at the same time to appoint an Attorney and a Guardian, and to record your wishes regarding preferred medical treatment. 
These are unprecedented times.  We are witnessing and possibly experiencing widespread job loss and isolation.  As people do their best to cope with the changes around them, this has been accompanied by a surge in domestic violence.   
Now, let’s get straight to the point….. There is no need to explain the potential impact of COVID-19 on the economy. It has already been seen around the world with a significant impact on share prices, property values, superannuation and employment. This will have an impact on Family Law Property proceedings. 
COVID 19 is causing uncertainty in so many areas.  One question we are being asked, is “How it will affect existing Parenting Orders or Parenting Plans?”.  The answer to this will vary, depending upon your Order or Plan.   
COVID-19 Part 1: Court Proceedings during the COVID-19 pandemic There is no question that we are now in uncharted waters. The world has not seen an influenza pandemic of this nature since Swine Flu and HIV/AIDS. These are classified as pandemics despite the seeming lack of panic at the time. The Family Court of Western Australia was established by the Family Law Act in 1975 and commenced operation in 1976. Since that time, the Court has not had to deal with anything on this global scale before.
In our previous article ‘Who is a Parent??’, we touched on the importance of being a ‘parent’ under Australian Law, and the legal consequences associated with paternity. Naturally, a good way to follow up such an article is with an explanation of why, when seeking Parenting Orders from a Court, it does not matter who a child’s parents are at all.