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P&D Covid-19 Response

March 23, 2020

Covid-19 – A message from the team at Paterson & Dowding Family Lawyers and Mediators

We confirm that so far none of our staff have tested positive to Covid-19.

We are obviously following the advice of Australia’s Chief Medical Officer and the World Health Organisation.

Our offices in Perth and Joondalup, therefore, remain open for business and our office hours remain unchanged for the time being. We have stepped up hygiene measures. We have moved staff to ensure they have 4sqm workspaces. Most staff already had the ability to work from home on our secure computer network. We have been arranging for all staff to be able to work from home. Some have started doing this already.

We are also changing the way we normally work.

  • Telephone and email was previously the primary source of communication. It will now be the only source of communication where possible.
  • Please avoid personally attending our offices.
  • Client appointments will occur via telephone or video conference using software such as Microsoft Teams or Zoom.
  • While we have already been filing documents at the Family Court electronically, the Court has advised us to file all documents in this way where possible.
  • The Oaths, Affidavits & Statutory Declarations Act 2005 (WA) requires an affidavit to be witnessed in person. The Family Court has therefore advised us it will assist in the following way. You may sign your affidavit in the absence of an appropriately qualified witness. We will ask the Court to accept your affidavit even though it has not been witnessed. You must then be available at the hearing by telephone so the Court can administer the oath or affirmation and confirm the content of your affidavit that bears your signature.
  • We will follow this procedure until or if the Family Court closes altogether.
  • In relation to all other documents that require your signature, we will scan and email them to you. You may print, sign and return them to us by ordinary post. Alternatively, please add your electronic or digital signature and return the signed documents to us by email.
  • The Family Court has encouraged all lawyers to attend hearings by telephone where possible. Please refer the Public Notice issued by the Family Court dated 18 March 2020.

We will continue to monitor the Covid-19 situation on a daily basis and let you know of any adjustments to our operations that we may need to make in response to further guidelines/restrictions that the Federal and/or State Governments may impose.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us on 9226 3300 or 0412 374 153.

There may be delays as we, the Courts and our colleagues try to deal with these unprecedented challenges caused by Covid-19.

We will do our best but we ask for your help and patience in these unusual circumstances.

Our very best wishes to you and your family as we all work through the challenges at this time.

Regards

Lucy and Craig, and the Paterson & Dowding team

 

Please find below links to useful resources to help separated parents navigate this difficult time:

Top Ten Guide for Separated Parents during Covid-19

Considerations for better cashflow management

 

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