Family Law and COVID-19: We’re Here for You

By Ashley Dutcher

Updated May 21, 2020

Family Law and COVID-19: We’re Here for You

During these challenging times, Burchell MacDougall wants you to know we are still here to assist you with your family law needs.

Our lawyers are experienced and skilled in negotiation and dispute resolution. We can continue to assist you with the negotiation and drafting of your separation agreements, custody and access agreements, cohabitation and marriage contracts, and uncontested divorce applications.

Beyond that, we know the restrictions and public health directives surrounding COVID-19 have led to many questions regarding parenting arrangements, obligations with current court orders, and agreements and support. We’re here to help you navigate these difficult times and provide advice to assist you in making informed decisions.

While the Courts are operating quite differently during this time, they are continuing to process Consent Orders, Consent Variation Orders and Uncontested Divorce Applications, as well as dealing with issues deemed urgent and/or emergencies.

As of April 29, 2020, the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia (Family Division) announced it will consider a limited role in addressing parenting disputes due to COVID-19. Before this change, the Court stated that the unilateral interruption of a parenting schedule was not an urgent matter.

Moving forward, parties may request a non-binding judicial recommendation concerning a parenting issue. The consent of the other party is not required to trigger the involvement of the Court when there is an allegation of an arbitrary interruption of a Court-ordered parenting schedule.

In the coming weeks, there will also be the option, in some instances, for judicial settlement conferences to proceed by telephone, as well as the ability to proceed with some matters by documents alone. The “document only” proceeding will be available to both new and existing matters. This is a noteworthy development as, to date, new filings have been limited to matters that the court determines to be urgent or emergencies.

If you would like to find out more about how our family law lawyers can assist you, please contact us to schedule a telephone or virtual consultation. We know every situation is unique and we look forward to finding out more about you and your family and how we can help you at this time.

This article is for information only and is not intended to be legal advice. If you have any questions or would like further information, you should consult a lawyer.