The current COVID-19 pandemic has dominated our working and private lives. It is not surprising that the pandemic has greatly impacted all areas of family law and has created unprecedented challenges for separated parents. Self-isolation and social distancing orders have presented a host of challenges for parents dealing with access and parenting arrangements. Many parents have lost jobs or suffered other economic losses during the pandemic which has left them unable to fulfill their current support obligations.
An increase in domestic violence has been another unfortunate result of the pandemic, which may increase the need for restraining orders and peace bonds. While the Ontario Superior Court of Justice and the Ontario Court of Justice have suspended regular operations, they continue to hear urgent family law matters. The closure of the courts highlights the need for cooperation between parents and their counsel during these times.
At Gilbertson Davis LLP, we have been diligently following and monitoring the impact of COVID-19 on family law. We have put together an update on how the pandemic relates to different areas of family law.
Child Custody and Access
- Parenting Issues: This blog examines the impact of COVID-19 on access and parenting arrangements, provides an overview of the most cited cases on this issue and describes the three main themes of these decisions.
- Parenting Arrangements when Parents are Essential Workers: This blog explores the considerations the courts apply in assessing whether a parenting arrangement should continue when a parent is an essential worker during the pandemic and reviews several key cases on this topic.
- Blended Families: This blog discusses the impact of COVID-19 on blended families and reviews two recent Ontario Superior Court of Justice decisions, Guerin v Guerin, 2020 ONSC 2016 and Ribeiro v Wright, 2020
- Access to children with additional health risks: This blog reviews the courts recent decisions in respect of access for parents with children with additional health risks during the COVID-19 crisis.
- Can I take my child out of the province? : This blog canvasses the restrictions on taking a child out of the province or country following a separation or divorce during the COVID-19 crisis.
Closure of the Courts
- Alternatives to Family Court: This blog discusses the suspension of operations of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice and the Ontario Court of Justice and the availability of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) options to resolve family law disputes.
- What Constitutes an Urgent Family Law Matter?: This blog examines how the courts determine “urgency” with the closure of the courts and other criteria used by the courts in several recently released decisions.
- The Ontario Superior Court of Justice Expects to Further Expand the Scope of Matters to be Heard Virtually: This blog reviews the most recent notices of operations and the expanded scope of operations from the Ontario Court of Justice and the Ontario Court of Justice.
Child and Spousal Support
- Varying child support or spousal support obligations – This blog considers the ways to vary a child support or spousal support order in light of a material change in circumstances such as a loss of employment or remarriage.
Wills and Estates
- Why You Should Update Your Will -This blog explains the importance of updating your will post-separation or divorce to ensure the intended distribution of your estate.
- Restraining Orders and Peace Bonds – This blog discusses restraining orders and peace bonds available to family law litigants in Ontario both during and after the COVID-19 crisis.
Why Gilbertson Davis LLP?
Our experienced family lawyer can assist parties dealing with a COVID-19 related family law dispute. At Gilbertson Davis LLP, we advise and represent clients on a full range of family law matters, including child custody and access, child support, interjurisdictional issues, variations, urgent motions and ADR. Contact us for a consultation regarding your COVID-19 family law issues.
Related Practice Areas
Please see our related family law webpages on Separation and Divorce, Child Custody and Access, Spousal Support, Child Support, Division of Property, Cohabitation Agreements, Collaborative Family Law, Mobility Issues, Marriage Contracts, Urgent Motions, Ex parte Motions, Family Law Act Elections, Rights of the Surviving Spouse, Interjurisdictional Disputes, Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), Adoption, Variations, International Child Abduction, Preservation Orders, Capacity to Marry, Gift or Loan, Family Business Disputes, and Predatory Marriage.