Q: I have separated from my spouse, and I want to get into court right away.  Can I do that?

Gravel and two wedding rings

A:  Family law matters will not usually be dealt with by the court “right away”.  The Family Law Rules provide that a motion for relief, i.e. an order, from the court, cannot be brought before there is a case conference unless the matter is urgent or an emergency.  The test or threshold for what is urgent or an emergency is very high, usually said to be akin to concern for or the actual abduction of a child or other child protection issues.  The court requires parties to try and resolve the issues between them in advance before making itself available to decide an issue.  Those pre-hearing actions may include out-of-court discussions or even having an Early Case Conference respecting the singular issue that is so important to one of the parties that he or she feels the court needs to intervene sooner than later.  Going to court is expensive and risky, so it is important to explore all options in advance before “going to court”.  We do a lot of family/divorce law, with offices in Georgetown, Brampton and Caledon East.  In light of COVID-19, we are doing most everything virtually. So we are happy to have a Zoom meeting or a telephone call without charge to you to see if we can assist you.  Have a great weekend.