Going through a separation and co-parenting can be stressful at the best of times. With the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, separated and separating parties are facing particularly difficult and unprecedented challenges right now. 

Below are some of the common questions we are being asked: 

School is out indefinitely – what happens with parenting arrangements after spring break?‍

If you have a Separation Agreement or Court Order, that Agreement or Order remains binding until varied by agreement of the parties or another Court Order. 

Right now, more than ever, it is important that parents put aside their differences and work together for the sake of their children. 

The Association of Family and Conciliation Courts and the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers have released Guidelines to assist separated parents during the COVID-19 pandemic. Click to see those Guidelines here.

I have been laid-off from my job, do I still need to pay my former spouse support?

If you are obliged to pay child or spousal support pursuant to a Separation Agreement or Court Order, your obligation continues until the Agreement or Order is varied. 

I heard that the Courts are closed - what if I have to address something urgently?

The B.C. Supreme Court and B.C. Provincial Court have suspended regular operations indefinitely. 

Presently, these courts will only hear matters that are determined to be essential and urgent – for example:

  • Orders relating to the safety of a child or parent due to a risk of violence or immediate harm (e.g., a protection order, conduct orders, or exclusive possession of the home); 
  • Orders relating to the risk of removal of a child from the jurisdiction (e.g., relocation, non-removal, wrongful removal or retention of a child); and 
  • Orders relating to the well-being of a child (e.g., essential medical decisions, urgent issues relating to parenting time, contact or communication with a child that cannot reasonably be delayed). 

See the full notices:

Fortunately, there are a number of “alternate dispute resolution” options available. For example, many dispute-resolution professionals are continuing to conduct mediations and arbitrations remotely through video-conferencing and teleconferencing. 

More questions?

As a Firm, we remain committed to navigating through your family matters with you. We are continuing to work through these unique circumstances and are here to provide you advice, support and representation. 

If you require our assistance, please get in touch with us directly via our contact page and one of the lawyers in our Family Law department will be happy to answer any questions you may have and provide the guidance you need.

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