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Thursday April 30, 2020

UPDATE: Supreme Court (Family Division) – Court Options to Proceed Amidst COVID-19

Posted in: COVID-19 Family Law

On Wednesday, April 29, 2020, the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia (Family Division) issued additional updates to its Notices dealing with court operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. The following summarizes those updates.

An earlier blog post summarizing what constitutes “urgent” and outlining document only hearings, judicial recommendations, and non-binding/binding settlement conferences can be found here.

Uncontested Divorce Applications, New Applications, Variation Applications

As of April 29, 2020, uncontested divorce applications are being accepted. Before a final order is issued, sworn documents must be received by the Court.

Consent Variation Orders will be considered when accompanied by a cover letter from each party explaining the basis for the variation.

Finally, Consent Orders for ‘new’ files will be considered when accompanied by the standard filing documents and a letter from each party explaining the basis of consent to the order.

Re-Scheduling Court Proceedings  

The Court has begun rescheduling matters removed from the Court’s docket as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. The first rebooked files will be considered by the Court on Monday, May 4th, 2020. These files were removed from the Court’s docket for the week of Monday, March 23rd, 2020.

COVID-19 and Parenting Time

The Court will now consider a limited role in addressing parenting disputes. Before this change, the Court stated that the unilateral interruption of a parenting schedule was not an urgent matter. Moving forward, parties may request a judicial recommendation concerning a parenting issue. The consent of the other party is not required to trigger the involvement of the Court when there is an allegation of an arbitrary interruption of a Court ordered parenting schedule.

Child and Adult Protection

The Court also set out additional limitations on the use of affidavit evidence and the length of hearings. For example, as of May 1 the page limit for an affidavit in an adult or child protection matter is 25 pages. As of June 1, the page limit will be reduced to 20 pages.

Schedule an appointment with a member of our Family Law Team to discuss your unique situation and how COVID-19 impacts your family law matter.

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