Family Law

Aminah, Siti and Siti Sumadiyah, ‘Contextual Study of Family Law: Rethinking Differential Roles and Positions of Women (Indonesian Council of Ulama/Mui) in Kediri City Families in the Pandemic Era’ (2021) 8(3) Jurnal Pembaharuan Hukum 306–323
Abstract: This research is an effort to affirm the role and position of women in the family who are no longer on the sub-ordinate line. By carrying out a contextual study based on the rules of fiqh legal provisions depend on the god who follows and taghayyur, al-ahkam bi taghayyur al-azminah wa al-amkinah, the research has a significant point. To ensure the validity of this research, the research data is a scientific research method that can be accounted for. The data is extracted through the triangulation method, namely interviews, observation and documentation. The data results were tested for the validity of the data through triangulation of sources and techniques. After the final data, the findings of the study were obtained. Namely, 1) on the economic aspect of the family, women work in a community by developing micro-enterprises; 2) in the social aspect, women provide counselling, socialisation, both online and offline; 3) in the spiritual aspect, women carry out halaqah on family resilience during the pandemic and socialise the MUI fatwa related to vaccination law; 4) in the education aspect, women provide services, education and education to the wider community in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic.

Baharuddin, H, ‘Parenting Styles During the Covid-19 Pandemic: A Conception of Islamic Family Law’ (2021) 5(1) Al-Bayyinah: Jurnal of Islamic Law 13–28
Abstract: The covid-19 pandemic situation has led to many changes in living conditions and various activities that are mostly carried out at home in order to reduce and prevent the chain of transmission of the corona-19 virus. This study aims to provide an illustration of the role of parents at home during the Covid-19 pandemic situation by providing the rights that must be given to children by correlating them with the concept of childcare in Islamic family law. The urgency in education studies in the review of Islamic family law is to emphasize the position of parents who are not only responsible for providing a living, including in matters of success in education. This is a conceptual study, which seeks to explore the concept of childcare that is built in Islamic family law. The findings in this study indicate that childcare according to Islamic family law in the covid-19 pandemic situation, namely: 1) teaching children to do good and keep away from badness, this is done by way of parents giving examples and accompanying children when learning, 2) Parenting with affection, this care is done by providing safety and guidance to children, 3) Fulfilling the needs of children. In the conception of Islamic family law it is known as hadanah rights or child care which is widely understood, both in terms of livelihood to children’s intelligence. The implication of this finding is that during the pandemic, parents have a significant role, in addition to living needs, parents are also required to ensure children’s intelligence through the fulfillment of education.

Bell, Felicity, ‘“Part of the Future”: Family Law, Children’s Interests and Remote Proceedings in Australia during COVID-19’ (2021) 40(1) University of Queensland Law Journal 1–26
Abstract: In March 2020, the family law courts, like other Australian courts, moved to hearing proceedings ‘remotely’, by phone, audio-visual link or software platform. This article examines the particular circumstances of family law cases that likely impact on whether it is appropriate for remote procedures to be used. Giving context to these themes, the article reports on a survey of Australian federal judicial officers about their experiences of conducting family law proceedings remotely.

Bewley, Amanda, ‘Mental Health Awareness and Suicide Prevention in the Family Justice System: A Different COVID-19 Issue’ (2020) 50(July) Family Law 795–798
Abstract: Discusses the issue of suicide prevention in the specific context of the family justice system and the need for training in how to respond to suicidal litigants. Considers the effect of the coronavirus pandemic on the well-being of both practitioners and clients.

Byars, Kaleb, ‘Coronavirus, Caregivers and Child Custody: A Pragmatic Solution for Parents Who Seek to Protect Their Children During the COVID-19 Crisis. (Cover Story)’ (2020) 56(5) Tennessee Bar Journal 28–29
Abstract: Extract from Introduction: As COVID-19 spreads, it undoubtedly carries with it a host of legal issues. This article seeks to address one of those issues. Namely, it answers the following question: What options are available to a child’s parent when the child’s other parent who has shared physical custody of the child refuses to take precautions during a pandemic such COVID-19?

Catrina, Radu, ‘Family Law: A Precedent for Unprecedented Times’ (2020) 94(12) Law Institute Journal 40–43
Abstract: How the family law courts have treated the continued operation of, and frequent non-compliance with, parenting orders in the wake of COVID-19.

Chandler, Alexander, ‘Is Coronavirus a Barder Event?’ (2020) 50(June) Family Law 701–712
Abstract: Considers whether a coronavirus-related event is a Barder event justifying the re-opening of a final financial order. Reviews the applicable principles through five ‘Barder’ cases. Looks at a range of possible Barder scenarios arising from the coronavirus pandemic. Outlines procedure for making a Barder application. Offers some thoughts on what to do regarding agreements which have not yet been made into orders.

Cooper, Donna, ‘Post-Separation Parenting During COVID-19’ in Belinda Bennett and Ian Freckelton (eds), Pandemics, Public Health Emergencies and Government Powers: Perspectives on Australian Law (Federation Press, 2021)

Doughty, Julie, ‘Remote Justice: Family Court Hearings during the Pandemic’ (2020) 42(3) Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law 377–380
Abstract: Discusses Re A (Children) (Remote Hearing: Care and Placement Orders) (CA) and other cases on holding a hearing remotely or in a hybrid form during the coronavirus pandemic, noting the guidance given by the President of the Family Division in this case.

Douglas, Gillian, ‘Abduction’ (2020) 50(July) Family Law 822–823
Abstract: Comments on the approach in Re PT (A Child) (Fam Div) to the argument that ordering the return of a child from England to Spain during the coronavirus pandemic would amount to a grave risk of physical harm under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction 1980 art.13b.

Drventić, Martina, ‘COVID-19 Challenges to the Child Abduction Proceedings’ (2021) 5(EU 2021 – The Future of the EU in and After the Pandemic) EU and Comparative Law Issues and Challenges Series (ECLIC) 631–656
Abstract: While creating a new notion of everyday life, the COVID-19 pandemic also affects the resolution of cross-border family disputes, including the international child abduction cases. The return of an abducted child to the country of his or her habitual residence is challenged by travel restrictions, international border closures, quarantine measures, but also by closed courts or cancelled hearings. Those new circumstances that befell the whole world underline two issues considering child abduction proceedings. The first one considers access to justice in terms of a mere possibility of the applicant to initiate the return proceeding and, where the procedure is initiated, in terms of the manner of conducting the procedure. The legislation requires a quick initiation and a summary resolution of child abduction proceedings, which is crucial to ensuring the best interests and well-being of a child. This includes the obligation of the court to hear both the child and the applicant. Secondly, it is to be expected that COVID-19 will be used as a reason for child abduction and increasingly as justification for issuing non-return orders seen as a ‘grave risk’ to the child under Article 13(1)(b) of the Child Abduction Convention. By analysing court practice from the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020 to March 2021, the research will investigate how the pandemic has affected child abduction proceedings in Croatia. Available national practice of other contracting states will also be examined. The aim of the research is to evaluate whether there were obstacles in accessing the national competent authorities and courts during the COVID-19 pandemic, and in which manner the courts conducted the proceedings and interpreted the existence of the pandemic in the context of the grave risk of harm exception. The analyses of Croatian and other national practices will be used to gain an overall insight into the effectiveness of the emerging guidance and suggest their possible broadening in COVID-19 circumstances or any other future crises.

Elrod, Linda D, ‘Review of the Year 2020 in Family Law: COVID-19, Zoom, and Family Law in a Pandemic’ (2021) 54(4) Family Law Quarterly 281–324
Extract from Introduction: Although COVID-19 shut down courts across the country starting in March 2020, lawyers and judges rose to the challenge of navigating a justice system run remotely from homes across the country. State supreme courts issued administrative orders tolling statutes of limitations and notice provisions and postponing jury trials. Zoom became the platform for hearings, pretrial conferences, mediations, and conferences as well as for education. Added to the health crisis were sad reminders of systemic racism and wealth inequalities as well as a highly contested presidential election. In spite of the challenges, federal and state courts continued to hand down important decisions on a variety of family law issues.

Foster, David and Philip Loft, ‘Coronavirus: Separated Families and Contact with Children in Care FAQs (UK)’ (House of Commons Library, Briefing Paper No CBP 8901, 5 January 2021)
Abstract: This paper provides brief information in response to some key questions regarding the impact of the Coronavirus outbreak on separated families, maintenance arrangements and access to children.

Fraser, Graeme, ‘Family Justice Post COVID-19: The Road to Recovery’ (2020) 170(7900) New Law Journal 8
Abstract: Considers the Sixth Report of the House of Commons Justice Committee on the delivery of court services during the coronavirus pandemic. Highlights the backlog of cases in the Family Court and the need for a government recovery plan on how to reduce the backlog.

Freckelton, Ian, ‘COVID-19 and Family Law Deision-Making’ (2020) 27(4) Journal of Law and Medicine 846
Abstract: All aspects of family law have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. It has posed challenges for the operation of the Family Court of Australia and the Federal Circuit Court, the obtaining of expert reports, the conduct of hearings, the functioning of contact centres, and the mode of delivery of children’s schooling. In Australia and in Ontario an attempt has been made to be clear about what is expected of parents during the period of crisis. An Australian innovation has been the establishment of a COVID-19 List and communication by the Chief Justice of the Family Court about what is expected of parents by way of compliance with orders from chief health officers and safe practices to protect children against infection, especially those with particular health vulnerabilities. This column reviews such initiatives and a number of the significant family law decisions during the early phase of Australia’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Grumet, Lisa, ‘Co-Parenting During Lockdown: COVID-19 and Child Custody Cases Before the Vaccine. (A Project of the New York Law School Family Law Quarterly Editors)’ (2022) 55(2) Family Law Quarterly 173–194
Abstract: This Article looks back at child custody disputes from the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, when there were no vaccines available to limit the spread or impact of the disease and much of the country was in ‘lockdown.’ Beginning in March 2020, most state governments issued some form of ‘stay-at-home’ orders with the goal of protecting public health by limiting the spread of the virus. Restrictions on travel as well as concerns about exposure to the disease impacted co-parenting arrangements for parents who shared custody or visitation of their children while maintaining separate households. Some parents went to court with emergency applications to enforce or modify custody and visitation arrangements based on pandemic-related disputes. Judges considered arguments that the pandemic itself warranted suspending a visitation schedule; that children should not travel or be exposed to ‘hotspot’ jurisdictions; that COVID-19 testing or quarantine protocols should be followed; and that one parent’s noncompliance with COVID-19 protocols put a child at risk of infection. In resolving these disputes, courts recognized the challenges of the pandemic and the importance of protecting children’s health, while also emphasizing the importance of continuity and ongoing relationships with parents for children’s emotional health. In addition, some courts specifically ordered parents to comply with public health guidance. While no vaccine was available at the time of these decisions, some orders specifically mentioned masks, social distancing, hand-washing, and compliance with government protocols generally. Courts have sought to balance children’s needs for time with separated parents; and safety concerns raised by the circumstances of the pandemic, the health needs of particular children and families, or the parties’ own conduct. For so long as the pandemic continues, these considerations may continue to be weighed by courts in determining the best interests of the child.

Harker, Lisa, ‘Children’s Contact with Birth Families: Lessons Emerging during the Pandemic’ (2020) 50(July) Family Law 929–931
Abstract: Considers how child contact arrangements have been managed during the coronavirus lockdown with restrictions on face-to-face contact. Refers to findings from Nuffield Family Justice Observatory research on the use of video calls for children in residential, foster and kinship care to facilitate contact with birth families.

Harniati, Sri Harniati Sri and Nasri Hamang Nasri Hamang, ‘The Impact of Covid-19 on the Resilience of Families of Parepare Nusantara Port Transport Workers: Islamic Marriage Law’ (2021) 2(1) Al-Iftah: Journal of Islamic studies and society 81–94
Abstract: This study discusses the impact of Covid-19 on the resilience of the families of port workers at Nusantara Parepare in the perspective of Islamic marriage law.With the problem of how the impact Covid-19 on the resilience of the families of Nusantara port transport workers in Parepare City. This type of study is a field study, namely a study that collects data directly from labor community informants. This study was conducted using a phenomenological approach. The results of this study indicate that 1) The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has caused the economy of the port worker community to be increasingly difficult and deprived. At the time of the closure of the Nusantara port, many of the port workers family conditions were not harmonious because their income was greatly reduced and decreased drastically;2) Condition family resilience due to the Covid-19 pandemic has greatly impacted port workers because the familys economy is increasingly depressed, making it very vulnerable to conflict in the family, and 3) The resilience and harmony of a family since the Covid-19 pandemic has led to disputes and conflicts due to the non-fulfillment of the necessities of life. And the families of port transport workers during the Covid-19 pandemic have become problematic families.

Hitchings, Emma and Mavis Maclean, ‘Unprecedented Times: Some Thoughts on the Consequences of the COVID-19 Pandemic from a Family and Social Welfare Law Perspective’ (2020) 42(3) Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law 277–280
Abstract: Extract: The effects of the global health crisis and the strategy of national lockdown to ameliorate the pandemic across the globe have had unparalleled consequences for family and social welfare law. Government policies across the world have been introduced at a scale and pace that would have been unthinkable as recently as February of this year. These have been introduced in order to limit the inevitable devastating economic consequences and have resulted in unprecedented levels of government support for businesses and individuals. Other nations such as France are already in an official recession, and while the United Kingdom has not, as yet, made the official list, there is no doubt that we are on our way. According to the Office for National Statistics (2020), Britain’s economy contracted by 2.2% in the first three months of 2020 and GDP fell by 6.9% in March even though the strictest lockdown measures were only in place for nine days of that month.

Houston, Claire et al, ‘Ontario Family Justice in “Lockdown”: Early Pandemic Cases and Professional Experience’ (2022) Family Court Review (advance article, published 8 March 2022)
Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly affected families and children involved in Ontario’s family justice system as well as family justice professionals in the province. In a span of two years, Ontario’s family justice system has been fundamentally transformed, from a paper-based, in-person system to a paperless system in which many services, including judicial proceedings, continue to be largely delivered remotely. We report on the findings of two studies on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Ontario family justice: (1) an analysis of early pandemic court decisions; and (2) a survey of family justice professionals about their experiences during the early pandemic. We describe how the pandemic has exacerbated access to justice issues for certain groups, including families experiencing high conflict, victims of intimate partner violence, families involved in child welfare proceedings, and self-represented litigants, while improving access to justice for others by improving efficiency and reducing legal costs. As Ontario moves past the pandemic, the family justice system will need to ensure that technological advances improve access to justice for all court-involved families.

Hubail, Fatema, ‘In the Shadow of the Law: Bahraini Women’s Realities within the Covid-19 Pandemic’ (2022) 3(2) Amicus Curiae, Series 2 218-250
Abstract: With the emergence of the Covid-19 global pandemic, the questions of gender and sect have been reintroduced in Bahraini media as examples, spectacles and objects of critique. The pandemic does not only carry a health risk, but it has also become a means of social-conditioning, surveillance and the reification of difference for Bahrainis. In the cases of Ania and Fatima, the pandemic was a time that defined key moments in their lives: their ability to name and shame their abusers online. However, as these women bravely shared their stories, they were confronted by social and cultural forces that attempted to silence them. Although these two testimonies are not representative of all women’s experiences in Bahrain, they shed light on the various legal, familial and social structures that affect women’s lived experiences. This research will further explore the legal and social silencing of women’s lived experiences through the lens of the Covid-19 pandemic. This research aspires to carve an academic space that brings some justice to these women, by sharing their experiences in light of the emerging sociopolitical, sociolegal and cultural contexts of their society. In this research, I answer the following questions: (1) to what extent does Law No 19 of 2017 on the Family Law (also known as the Unified Family Law of 2017) perpetuate silencing on the grounds of gender and sect throughout the pandemic in Bahrain? And (2) to what extent has the Covid-19 pandemic amplified the expectations ascribed to women on the grounds of gender and sect in Bahrain? The focus on the Unified Bahraini Family Law of 2017 is vital to understanding the social expectations that frame women’s lived experiences in Bahrain. It complicates the lives of women, as the state imagines unification, but the reality suggests that women are found at the intersection of gender, sect, structures of kin, trauma and, lastly, the sociopolitical implications of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Jannah, Shofiatul and Mohammad Afifulloh, ‘Islamic Legal Analysis of Obligation for Swab Tests as a Requirement for Marriage in the Era of Covid-19 Pandemic in Indonesia’ (2021) 16(2) AL-IHKAM: Jurnal Hukum & Pranata Sosial 450–475
Abstract: The Covid-19 pandemic gives many impacts on various aspects, including marriage service requirement. During the pandemic, it is required to comply with government policies, namely submitting negative Covid-19 Swab test results for prospective brides, witnesses, and marriage guardians. Due to the high spending for taking the test, some prefer to unregister the marriage and delay the schedule. This research is a literature study with a normative type. The data was obtained qualitatively through observation and analysis of the policy of the Ministry of Religious Affair, its impact on Indonesian society, and how Islamic law percieves the policy. The results show that the policy of the Ministry of Religious Affair number: P-001/DJ.III/Hk.007/07/2021 aimed to cope with the spread of Covid-19 virus which is increasingly rampant. Meanwhile, according to the Islamic law, it is a temporary requirement formulated to prevent harm and therefore, it is not a part of marriage pillar. Islamic law furthermore puts it as an effort to maintain the soul’s safety (hifdun al-nafs).

Joslin, Courtney G, ‘COVID and the Urgency of Parentage Reform’ (2021) Drexel Law Review (forthcoming)
Abstract: This Essay highlights how the COVID-19 pandemic underscores the urgent need to reform outdated and discriminatory parentage laws.

Key, Aimee and Lindsey Obenhaus, ‘COVID-19 and Family Law: What Every Attorney Needs to Know’ (2020) 83(5) Texas Bar Journal 310–311
Abstract: Extract from Introduction: In addition to transforming the way matters are handled in court, the COVID-19 pandemic poses a number of new issues for family law clients and their children, which are considered here.

Leedam, Kirsty and Hannah Nicholls, ‘The Importance of Habitual Residence in International Children Proceedings after COVID-19’ (2020) 2 International Family Law 143–148
Abstract: Discusses the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on international children proceedings, including the extent to which the travel ban may have changed some children’s place of habitual residence. Details the factors determining such residence, how it is assessed, and how it may be lost.

Lessard, Michaël, ‘Coronavirus: Développements Récents En Droit de La Famille Concernant La Garde et l’accès Durant La Pandémie de La COVID-19 (Recent Developments in Québec Family Law Regarding Custody and Access During the COVID-19 Pandemic)’ [2020] (April) Repères 2983
English Abstract: The author describes the recent developments in Québec family law regarding the exercise of custody and access rights during the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19). The developments discussed here are those that occurred between March 13 and April 13, 2020.

Lyon, Fiona, ‘The Surrogacy Journey’ (2020) 170(7900) New Law Journal 12–14
Abstract: Outlines the legal and practical steps involved in a surrogacy arrangement, including surrogacy agreements, parental orders, relevant case law, and the effects of COVID-19 on international surrogacy.

Masson, Amanda, ‘Reflections on Child Law in the Pandemic’ (2020) 166 Family Law Bulletin 1–3
Abstract: Summarises aspects of Scottish and UK child law which have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, including child contact arrangements and child welfare hearings.

McCosker, Alexandra, ‘Family Law: Parenting during a Pandemic: Best Interests of the Child Remain Paramount’ (2020) 66 LSJ: Law Society of NSW Journal 78–79
Abstract: Family law disputes have traditionally run the gauntlet of not only legal issues, but also the emotional and human elements that so often accompany such disputes. The COVID-19 pandemic has added an extra complication to the lives of many Australian families dealing with family law disputes. How are families to approach their family law issues during this time? The situation pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic is constantly changing, and everyone living in Australia needs to ensure they are up-to-date with such changes as they arise. Given the evolving nature of the situation in New South Wales and the potential for significant or abrupt changes, this article is confined to providing an overview of the issues that may arise in family law matters during the COVID-19 pandemic and does not constitute legal advice.

Moyer, Rachel A et al, ‘Advocacy Services for Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence: Pivots and Lessons Learned during the COVID-19 Quarantine in Tacoma, Washington’ (2022) Family Court Review (advance article, published 6 March 2022)
Abstract: The Crystal Judson Family Justice Center (CJFJC), like many advocacy programs for survivors of intimate partner violence, transformed its structure and operating procedures amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The first confirmed case of COVID-19 in the United States was in Washington State, where CJFJC is located, and Governor Jay Inslee acted quickly with a strict stay-at-home order. This paper describes the pre-pandemic, in-person service model used at CJFJC and then the transition to a fully online service model utilizing phone, email and online procedures and platforms. The rapid transition posed many opportunities to learn how to provide services during public pandemics, and how to provide services virtually. We conclude with detailed lessons learned from the experiences of filing domestic violence protection orders online, Zoom court hearings, innovation surrounding community partnerships, and information technology development.

Mu’in, Fathul et al, ‘Reinterpretation of Livelihoods in Marriage Law and its Implications on Family Resistance in the Time and Post COVID-19’ (2021) 1(2) SMART: Journal of Sharia, Traditon, and Modernity 113–127
Jurisdiction: Indonesia
Abstract: The rules regarding a living in Law Number 1 of 1974 concerning Marriage and the Compilation of Islamic Law imposes the obligation to earn a living only on the husband. These two regulations create problems in society. Many wives demand a living from their husbands. Not a few wives also have jobs and income, but they are spent on their own needs, including for consumptive things, channeling hobbies and others because they think that fulfilling a living is not part of their obligations. This condition is coupled with the interpretation of a number of verses of the Qur’an and the traditions of the Prophet which are still patriarchal. The marriage law and a number of verses of the Qur’an and the Prophet’s hadith need to be reinterpreted. This is because the development of an increasingly advanced era makes the role of women not only as wives who only take care of the household, but also as one of the contributors to the economy. This research uses the library research method. This study concludes that the livelihoods in these two laws and regulations need to be updated to be relevant to current conditions. Supposedly, the wife also has the same obligation in matters of livelihood. The reinterpretation of livelihood using the interpretation of mubadalah is to produce the principle of mutuality. The wife can even be the main breadwinner under certain conditions. This interpretation has implications for the fulfillment of the family’s economy during the pandemic and post-covid-19 pandemic. Because, in difficult economic conditions, the wife participates in helping the family economy on a macro basis or even as the main provider in the household who changes places with her husband.

O’Callaghan, Elaine, ‘Return Travel and Covid-19 as a Grave Risk of Harm in Hague Child Abduction Convention Cases’ (2021) 17(3) Journal of Private International Law 587–600
Abstract: Since February 2020, courts have been faced with many novel arguments concerning the Covid-19 pandemic in return proceedings under the ‘grave risk exception’ provided in Article 13(1)(b) of the 1980 Hague Convention. This article presents an analysis of judgments delivered by courts internationally which concern arguments regarding the safety of international travel in return proceedings during the Covid-19 pandemic. While courts have largely taken a restrictive approach, important clarity has been provided regarding the risk of contracting Covid-19 as against the grave risk of harm, as well as other factors such as ensuring a prompt return despite practical impediments raised by Covid-19 and about quarantine requirements in the context of return orders. Given that the pandemic is ongoing, it is important to reflect on this case law and anticipate possible future issues.

Probert, Rebecca and Stephanie Pywell, ‘Love in the Time of Covid-19: A Case-Study of the Complex Laws Governing Weddings’ (2021) 41(4) Legal Studies 676–692
Abstract: During 2020, weddings were profoundly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. During periods of lockdown few weddings could take place, and even afterwards restrictions on how they could be celebrated remained. To investigate the impact of such restrictions, we carried out a survey of those whose plans to marry in England and Wales had been affected by Covid-19. The 1,449 responses we received illustrated that the ease and speed with which couples had been able to marry, and sometimes whether they had been able to marry at all, had depended not merely on the national restrictions in place but on their chosen route into marriage. This highlights the complexity and antiquity of marriage law and reinforces the need for reform. The restrictions on weddings taking place also revealed the extent to which couples valued getting married as opposed to having a wedding. Understanding both the social and the legal dimension of weddings is important in informing recommendations as to how the law should be changed in the future, not merely to deal with similar crises but also to ensure that the general law is fit for purpose in the twenty-first century.

Radina, Ana, ‘The Child’s Right to Maintain Contact with Both Parents in the Age of Pandemic’ (2021) 5(EU 2021 – The Future of the EU in and After the Pandemic) EU and Comparative Law Issues and Challenges Series (ECLIC) 601–630
Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic and the accompanying extraordinary measures engaged restrictions of fundamental human rights and liberties to an unprecedented scale. Inevitably, this had implications in the family context as well. Even though children are not considered to be an endangered category from a medical perspective, they are adversely affected by the pandemic in practically all aspects of life, in the short-term and in the long-term. One of the child’s rights directly affected is the right to maintain direct contact with both parents on a regular basis. Digital means of communication can somewhat mitigate the lack of personal contact, however, not everyone has access to the necessary technologies and there might be various disagreements about exercising such indirect contact. The closure of judiciary and social services placed the burden of resolving contact related disputes almost entirely upon parents. This paper aims to examine the relevant legal framework and measures taken in relation to the child’s right to maintain contact with both parents in the circumstances of the pandemic, with particular focus on the Croatian context and the response of the Croatian authorities to the challenges arising from this extraordinary situation, and to identify actions which could be taken in order to improve the child’s unfavourable position.

Ridgway, Phillip, ‘Family Law and Evidence: Covert Recordings in Family Law’ (2020) 72 LSJ: Law Society of NSW Journal 82–83
Abstract: COVID-19 has forced families into close confines for extended periods of time, not only during lockdowns, but also as a result of the work-from-home and home-schooling arrangements which have become commonplace as we navigate life during the pandemic .In March and April 2020, the Family Court recorded a 39 per cent increase in urgent applications filed. The rate of domestic violence has also spiked, with one survey by the Australian Institute of Criminology reporting a 53 per cent increase in the frequency and severity of family violence during the pandemic.Thanks to smartphones, most Australians now have a device at their fingertips which can make audio and video recordings at the click of a button. While the use of audio and video recordings in Family Court proceedings is not new, it seems almost inevitable that family law practitioners will soon face an increase in parents seeking to rely upon recordings taken surreptitiously during COVID lockdowns. It is therefore timely to consider whether such recordings are legal, whether they may have any use in Family Court proceedings, and the various matters to consider if a client presents you with such a recording.

Robins, Imogen, ‘Financial Remedies after COVID-19: What Can We Expect?’ (2020) 50(July) Family Law 904–908
Abstract: Discusses how the coronavirus pandemic may affect litigation for financial remedies on divorce. Considers the impact of lockdown on courts’ procedure, advantages of alternative dispute resolution, valuation of investments, and the possibility of varying existing orders.

Rosenberg, Lee, ‘Love and Family Law in the Time of COVID-19’ (2020) 52(2) NYSBA Family Law Review 4–12
Extract from Introduction: As New York State gradually entered ‘Phase 1’ and then moved forward to where are standing at the time of this editorial, those who practiced ‘family law’ were, with limited exceptions, incredulously considered ‘nonessential.’ How that was even remotely possible, given the kind of services we perform for families already in crisis, is an absurdity. The bench and bar and their staffs were given short-shrift, and families, except in the most exigent circumstances, could not get their day in court nor even file new actions for a prolonged period of time. Despite the court system requiring special ‘Matrimonial Rules’ for practicing in this field and the talk of the need to protect families, for some reason, it still feels as if other areas of law take precedence. It seems rare that any matrimonial lawyers are even asked to participate and serve on those task forces empowered to offer opinions on over-arching policy matters that affect what we do and those we represent. Clients and self-represented litigants frustrated—as the bench and bar were—with the lack of access to the system, which was finally and miraculously pulled into the age of technology, could not understand how they were in limbo at home as well as in court. Through it all, lawyers, judges, legal assistants, paralegals, court personnel, with a built-in need to serve justice, still had to rightfully worry about themselves and their own families. ‘Balance,’ a repeated mantra for some time now, but rarely found and usually beyond our grasp, is now thrust squarely to the forefront– sometimes as a mandate in our own households. And so, as we have transitioned to virtual appearances, electronic filing, and with in-person matters at hand—at least to some degree, where do we go from here and how does this still on-going experience affect the practice of law and the advice we give?

Saladino, Rosa and Suzanne Christie, ‘Family Law: The Limits of the “Hague Convention” in Child Abduction Cases’ (2020) 67 LSJ: Law Society of NSW Journal 84
Abstract: In the recent decision of ‘Walpole’ [2020] FamCAFC 65, the Full Court of the Family Court allowed an appeal against orders requiring two children aged three and two to return to New Zealand. The case was brought under the ‘Family Law (Child Abduction) Regulations 1986’ which give effect in Australia to the ‘Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction’. The case is one of the first to provide guidance as to how the Family Court might handle cases in the time of COVID 19.

Schmidt, Megan, ‘The Hidden Foster Care System: A Parallel System in Legal Limbo During A Deadly Pandemic’ (2022) 12(1) University of Miami Race & Social Justice Law Review 141–163
Abstract: In 2020, Josh Gupta-Kagan’s article on the American Hidden Foster System challenged the welfare system to face its coercive practices that effectuate in a child being removed from the home without formal state intervention and court oversight.1 Families find themselves struggling to stay together as child protection workers utilize threats and safety plans to force the removal of a child from the home and into the custody of a family member.2 The children’s, the parents’, and the kinship caregivers’ lives are forever impacted by the welfare state, yet they receive insufficient benefits or protections afforded to families, caregivers, and children placed in licensed foster care under the jurisdiction of the court.3 This paper will explore what Gupta-Kagan coined the ‘American Hidden Foster system’4 during the COVID era, as well as some solutions to the injustices these families face while in the system. Lastly, this paper hopes to offer an approach to balance the inevitable tension that surfaces when child welfare agencies push for ‘under the table’ removals while impoverished families desperately try to stay together.

Smyth, Bruce M et al, ‘COVID-19 in Australia: Impacts on Separated Families, Family Law Professionals, and Family Courts’ (2020) 58(4) 1022-1039 Family Court Review_
_Abstract: Around the globe, many families are experiencing significant anxieties linked to COVID-19. These include health concerns and economic pressures, both of which are frequently taking place against a backdrop of various levels of social isolation. In addition, many parents have been juggling home schooling requirements in the face of radically different work arrangements including the loss of employment altogether. Unsurprisingly, additional challenges and stresses are emerging for separated families, family law professionals, and family courts. In this article – written at a point-in-time in a rapidly evolving COVID-19 context – we reflect on key challenges for separated families in Australia, and some of the emerging professional responses.

Tully, Matthew Brunsdon, ‘Virtual Family Courts: The Effect on Participants’ (2021) 164(7) Solicitors Journal 44-47
Extract from Introduction: The covid-19 pandemic has changed all of our lives, in ways that would not have been imaginable for most of us before the first lockdown. For most lawyers, even those involved in litigation, which would ordinarily require them to attend court for hearings, working from home has become the norm, as have remote hearings. We are all trying to work out how this will affect our working practices in the future. Are we moving towards the era of the virtual justice system – and even the virtual law firm? Or are we going to see, at some point in the hoped-for, not too distant, future, a move back to in person meetings, the court building, and to the office, and something akin to ‘business as usual’? Or is the likely outcome somewhere in the middle – are we going to retain elements of working, and litigating, from home, but ultimately retain office space and the need for some hearings or alternative dispute resolution (ADR) to be in person?

Walklett, Chris, ‘Coronavirus and the Expert Witness: Valuation Instructions’ (2020) 50(July) Family Law 909–910
Abstract: Discusses how the coronavirus pandemic has affected share valuation for the purposes of financial remedies on divorce. Considers the significance of earnings, multiples and assets.

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