Q: What interesting things have come about as a result of the impact of COVID on family law and the courts?
A: Like many industries, there have been so many significant changes with the court system. I have not stepped in a court since before March 2020. Everything has since been done virtually using Zoom. All court documents are filed on-line. The judges have found it difficult to process the amount of information received electronically, like the rest of us! Consequently, significant page and document size limitations have been imposed on filings. There seems to be a much greater focus on meaningful use of judicial resources, and encouraging parties to try and work out their differences in advance of getting to court. Offers to settle are expected to be severable, as opposed to “all or nothing”, to encourage settlement of at least some issues. There is even talk of judicial assisted mediation. A lot of these changes are for the good I think. Lawyers and parties need to be more efficient and focus that much more on resolution. All of that translates to time and cost savings for all, which is a good thing! 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.