Divorces are nearly always a high-stress situation, and the current COVID-19 outbreak is adding an unprecedented complication to the process. Currently, the Superior Court of Ontario is closed and judges are only hearing urgent matters. However, this does not mean that your divorce process has to grind to a halt. There are still plenty of things you can take care of while the courts are on hold.
- Work out a custody arrangement. With schools closed and social distancing in place, the question of who will take care of the kids has suddenly become more complicated. This is a great time to sit down and figure out how to divide custody, allowing for your employment situation and distance learning for the kids. You don’t necessarily have to iron out a permanent agreement right now, but you should definitely implement a temporary arrangement.
- Iron out your finances. Now is your chance to take the time to itemize all of your assets and liabilities and gather up any relevant documents. With everyone’s financial future as uncertain as it is right now, this would also be a great time to consult with your financial planner if you have one. If your assets include stocks or investments with lowered interest rates, you’ll want to figure out how best to divide them. This also might be a good time to look at selling your home. Mortgage interest rates have been lowered, which could help the house to sell quickly.
- Make a contingency plan. Practicing social distancing or quarantine, whichever is applicable to your family, will greatly reduce your chances of contracting COVID-19. Make sure you both have the same ideas about things like playdates and other gatherings, as well as everyday measures like regular handwashing. Additionally, it’s always best to prepare for a worst-case scenario. What will you do in the event that one of you comes down with the virus, or if one of your children does? This is the time to set aside your differences the best you can and be compassionate toward each other and your family.
- Keep talking to your lawyer. Lawyers, like many other professionals, are working remotely right now, but that doesn’t mean they’re unreachable. Modern technology makes it easy to meet through Skype or other teleconferencing software, and there’s always a simple phone call. Some documents may even be signed electronically. Make sure to stay in touch with your legal counsel, through whichever medium is best for you and your lawyer.
Call Galbraith Family Law for Assistance During COVID-19
This pandemic is new to all of us, but Galbraith Family Law has plenty of experience navigating other complications. Even though we’re working remotely, we’re still available to help our clients get through this process. To get in touch with Galbraith Family Law, you can fill in the contact form on our website or give us a call. If you live in the Newmarket area, call (289) 802-2433; if you’re in Barrie, call (705) 302-1102.