Parenting and Family Violence Matters During Lockdown - FAQ

22 April 2020


Can my shared care parenting order or agreement continue to operate?

A shared care exemption is included in the section 70(1)(f) Health Act 1956 order dated 3 April 2020 (health order).

This exemption allows the continuation of shared care agreements or orders between two households located within the same or adjacent health districts if every adult in those households agrees to isolate as if they were one household.

The health order calls this exemption a ‘shared bubble arrangement’.

It is not a breach of lockdown requirements for a person to travel between the two households for the purpose of facilitating the shared bubble arrangement.

Can I still have contact under a parenting order or agreement?

The health order does not provide a contact order or agreement exemption.

This means that physical contact is not permitted between children and other persons who are isolating outside the child’s household or shared bubble arrangement.

What should I do if I cannot have physical contact or shared care?

We recommend that regular telephone or video contact is arranged where shared care or contact arrangements cannot operate.


How does my protection order operate during the lockdown? 

It is not a breach of a protection order for the restrained person to contact the protected person if doing so is reasonably necessary in an emergency.

This means that contact initiated by the restrained person that is limited to information about their children’s lockdown arrangements while in the care of the protected person is probably not a breach of a protection order.

Otherwise, any contact initiated by the restrained person will amount to a breach of the protection order unless the protected person consents in writing to that contact or another exemption applies.

What if I have a protection order against a person who is living with me during the lockdown?

If you have previously consented to the restrained person living with you, you can revoke that consent at any time.

If consent is withdrawn during the lockdown, the restrained person will have to relocate and isolate in a new residence.

This will not breach lockdown requirements as the health order provides an exemption for relocation that is required by operation of a court order.

Will the restrained person also be required to move out if I obtain an occupation or tenancy order?

Yes, unless you consent to them remaining in the property.   

Can I leave my current residence if I am being subjected to family violence?

Under the health order, it is not a breach of lockdown requirements for a person to relocate to a new residence due to a risk to their personal safety.

We suggest that you notify the Police if you are unsafe by calling 111 (emergency) or 105 (non-emergency).

We can also assist you with preparing and filing an application for a protection order. Contact us.   

Rebekah Revell is part of our Family Disputes team at Norris Ward McKinnon.

Family Disputes Team