One 6 June 2022, the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia established a new specialised list known as the ‘Critical Incident List’ dealing with urgent matters for children in situations where: –
- The children’s parents have passed away;
- The children’s parents are critically injured; or
- The children’s parents are incarcerated due to family violence.
In addition to satisfying one of the above criteria making the parents unavailable to care for the children, the applicant needs to be a non-parent who currently has care of the child.
It is not a list dealing with an ordinary parenting dispute between parents and non-parent carers, instead it is a focus on ensuring that these carers are vested with the necessary authority to engage organisation such as schools and health care providers that are necessary for ensuring the children are properly cared for.
Justice Brasch, who is the Judge allocated to deal with this list, has commented that it has been a very important step for the court “because the last thing we want is for aunts and uncles, grandparents and best friends to have to come to court regularly. We need to get these families in and out (of the court) as quickly as possible so we can minimise the trauma for the surviving family.”
As a firm, we definitely agree that this is a positive move in the development of the Court for parties in such stressful and time sensitive situations.
If you are the non-parent carer of children and you need legal advice about how to best support them moving forward, please contact our office on (02) 4655 4224 to arrange an appointment to speak with one of our experienced solicitors.