From June 6, 2022, there will be a new family law Critical Incident List. This list will enable faster processes to make arrangements for children who have suffered because of family violence incidents.
Domestic or family violence is rife across various regions in Australia. The family law “critical incident list” is meant for family law applications that parties need to file in circumstances where neither parent is present.
This could be because of a variety of reasons such as:
- Death of the parent – can include cases of homicide
- Incarceration because of family violence incident
- Critical injury caused by domestic violence
For instance, such a scenario can arise when one parent has critically injured the other parent. In such cases, the parent who has injured the other parent will be incarcerated. Undoubtedly, these situations are extremely stressful for children.
Importance Of Family Law Critical Incident List
The Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (FCFCOA) will need to make court orders in extreme scenarios where a child is left with neither of his/her parents. These orders will be related to:
- Where the children will live;
- Orders for parental responsibility etc.
Based on these orders, non-parent carers (usually next of kin such as aunts, uncles and other relatives) will need to make arrangements for the child.
This includes enrolling the child in school, organising medical treatment if necessary, and also acting as a guardian and consenting to necessary medical treatment.
These processes will be fast-tracked because of the introduction of the critical incident list. This helps the child to move on with his/her life, especially given the stressful circumstances the child has witnessed.
Moreover, it also offers some relief to the relatives of the child as they will have faster access to family courts through the family law Critical Incident List.
Many children and their non-parent carers are often left in a state of limbo. These processes will help both the child, and the carer to have greater certainty in such testing times. Furthermore, the child will also feel supported.
Criteria For Critical Incident List
Parties need to file an application for consideration in the Critical Incident List. This will allow fast-track access to Courts. Given below is the criteria for family law critical incident list:
- The applicant must be a non-parent carer for the child or children;
- The child has no parent available to care for him/her, and the parent is absent due to death, injury or incarceration resulting from a family violence incident;
- The applicant is seeking orders for parental responsibility so that they can make appropriate arrangements for the child such as to engage with health care providers and educational institutions.
- There must not be any existing family law or child welfare order that are related to the child’s care arrangements with a non-parent, or allocating parental responsibility to a non-parent.
How To File An Application In The Family Law Critical Incident List?
An applicant who wishes to file an application in the family law critical incident list must file all documents, and send these via email to NAT@fcfcoa.gov.au
The email should consist of subject line – Critical Incident List.
Which documents do parties need to file? The list of documents. They will need the following documents to make an application in the Critical Incident List.
- An Initiating Application if there are no ongoing family law proceedings, or Application in a Proceeding, if there are ongoing family law proceedings.
- A supporting affidavit (10 pages maximum). The affidavit should address why the application meets the family law Critical Incident List criteria.
- A Notice of child abuse, family violence, or risk.
JB Solicitors’ Legal Guidance
Family violence is a serous issue in Australia. There are many victims of family or domestic violence. Children under the age of 18 face stressful scenarios, especially when one parent has critically injured the other parent. In extreme cases, a parent may also succumb to injuries and die due to violence perpetrated by the other parent.
Family lawyers are optimistic that court procedures will be faster after the introduction of the Critical Incident List. It will offer some kind of restitution to the children who are facing a crisis. Having a non-parent carer to be legally responsible for them may greatly help them with the situation.
At JB Solicitors, our compassionate and dedicated family lawyers are willing to help anyone who has suffered because of such situations. As a community, we must strengthen existing legal avenues for victims of family or domestic violence.
We combat domestic violence in our society by providing legal guidance to victims of violence. This also includes children, and non-parent carers.
For any enquiries, contact us today.