In Mackay, we have currently managed to avoid the lockdown restrictions affecting South East Queensland, and hopefully, that continues. A parenting plan is a written agreement that sets out parenting arrangements for children.
However, it is the case that the current Covid restrictions in South East Queensland may have an impact on some families in and around Mackay if they have children who travel to or from South East Queensland to spend time with their other parents.
The latest lockdown restrictions are a little different from those that were in place before, and there are some differences that are relevant for separated families who have arrangements for their children to spend time with the other parents.
The Covid lockdown arrangements apply to the 11 Local Government areas in South East Queensland. If you are within that area you are only permitted to leave your home for certain specified reasons. Under the current Queensland Health Direction, this provides that a permitted reason is to continue Court ordered or directed arrangements for children to spend time with their parents and other siblings. This apparently does not include people who have managed to reach an agreement between themselves, whether that is an informal agreement or in a Parenting Plan, but which is not in a Court Order.
That means if there is no Court Order in place for children to spend time with their parents then it is not a permitted reason under the current Covid restrictions.
If one parent lives in a locked-down area, and the other parent does not, the same rules appear to apply – travel is permitted in and out of the locked-down area, provided it is for a permitted reason. Therefore under the latest rules, if your children need to travel to and from Mackay to South East Queensland if the arrangements are in a Court Order that is permitted, but if it is not in a Court Order then it is not.
ALWAYS KNOW YOUR RIGHTS AND KNOW WHERE YOU STANDBy consulting one of our accredited family law mackay specialists.
We will need to wait to see whether the Queensland Government will revise their direction to reflect the fact that many people do not have Court orders to address their parenting arrangements.
For Advice or Assistance with all Family Law matters contact the team at Family Lawyers Mackay today on (07) 4847 0198