June 29, 2020

How COVID is Affecting the Divorce Process

Richmond Tymchuk Family Law

It may feel like there could be no more complicated time than during the lockdown and layoffs surrounding COVID-19 to move forward with a divorce. Quarantine and social isolation are increasing the natural anxieties of couples who have decided to separate and are left worrying about the appropriate steps and timelines to move forward with a divorce. Rest assured. Along with the Calgary court system, there are new strategic changes in place to keep your divorce simple and safe.

  • The first step is to meet with your lawyer to better get to know your rights and obligations. We are available by phone, FaceTime, Zoom, and email. Remote meetings allow for business to be conducted as usual without having to meet in-person. We are also taking in-person meetings if you choose to do so, providing that you’ve passed our COVID screening test.
  • Working with a divorce lawyer will prepare you to confidently communicate with a partner about the corollary issues that need to be agreed upon. If your income has been affected, make sure to discuss with a lawyer the changes necessary for calculating support payments before opening a conversation with a partner. If an agreement regarding property, child support, spousal support, custody, and access can’t be amicably reached, you have options.
    • An agreement can be made between counsel
    • Both parties can participate in mediation with or without counsel present. Richmond Tymchuk Family Law offers Zoom consultations and is well versed at conducting mediation and arbitration through Zoom
  • Custody arrangements may need to change under new safety and social distancing standards from COVID. Regardless of where you may be in the divorce process, discuss special arrangements to keep your family safe with a lawyer.
  • Either party can file a Statement of Claim for Divorce and Property Division before all the arrangements have been discussed. Bring the original marriage certificate to your lawyer in order to ensure the Statement of Claim you are drafting is correct.
  • All documents can now be signed remotely yet many lawyers still prefer to execute the Separation Agreement in person. Documents can be shared safely online with the new Alberta Court processes that are held remotely over WebEx platform. Parties can commission affidavits electronically, and to submit paperwork for filing via email allowing you to remain safe during quarantine.

With virtual meetings, electronic signatures, and secure online platforms for personal information, there has been very little change at the core of the divorce process during coronavirus. The Alberta Courthouses may be closed, but there are no roadblocks for individuals looking for an experienced Calgary divorce lawyer to assist them in separation.

Richmond Tymchuk Family Law LLP is available to discuss your matter by phone, FaceTime, Zoom, email or in person. Contact us anytime at [email protected].

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