COVID-19 and Ontario Family Court

COVID-19 has closed most courts’ doors across Ontario. Here’s how it affects your family law case.

We’re Here for You

Axess Law’s family lawyers are still available 7 days a week. They’re working remotely to assist you by email or video call. Book an appointment at any time by calling 1-647-479-0118. Or use the online form at:

Our remote family law services include:

  • independent legal advice
  • prenuptial agreements
  • marriage contracts
  • advice on separation or divorce
  • contested divorces 
  • opinion letters for foreign divorces.

Going to Court

Axess Law’s family law lawyers can help you prepare for court. They offer legal advice on your options and can prepare most basic documents. While they won’t go to court with you, your Axess Law lawyer can advise on what matters are being heard due to COVID-19. Feel free to call or email us for the latest. 

Here’s what we know so far.

Urgent Cases Get Priority

Ontario Superior Court of Justice has started hearing urgent family law cases again. At the judge’s discretion, your case could be heard if you need:

  1. Urgent relief for safety reasons, such as restraining or restricted contact orders or exclusive possession of your home.
  2. An urgent decision for your child’s well-being, including medical reasons, wrongful removal or retention, failure to comply or parenting plans.
  3. Financial support.
  4. Urgent child protection decisions.

What About Case Conferences?

Urgent case conferences can proceed in writing, by phone or video. They must relate to the court’s four priorities above and be limited to one or two issues only. A triage judge will decide if your matter goes ahead. You can expect to be notified if, when and how your case conference will be heard. The case conference (not triage) judge will determine if a hearing is needed.

Axess Law can help with planning your case conference.

Rescheduling Pre-trials

Pre-trial conferences cancelled by COVID-19 will be prioritized for rescheduling, based on urgency. Our family law lawyers can advise on preparing for pre-trial.

Signing Consent Orders

If you and your partner have agreed on some points, you may be able to file a consent order. A judge will review the draft order and the signed document will be emailed to you. Ask us for assistance with preparing a draft 14B motion.

Deciding Parties to Your Case

Rule 7 applications setting out who is a party to your family law case can also move ahead, provided everyone consents. Delayed applications can be refiled at this time.

What to Expect in Ontario Court of Justice 

Family court trials and appearances scheduled between March 16 and May 29 are suspended or adjourned for now. Urgent family proceedings can still be heard by phone or video. Social distancing will apply if your matter is held in person, by exception. You can make urgent filings by email. But phone, email or go to your local courthouse if you are unable to forward documents this way.

Call Us for Updates

For the latest updates on COVID-19 and your family law case, contact Axess Law at 1-647-479-0118, 7 days a week. Remember, if you have been advised to self-isolate, are quarantined or are sick, please stay home.