The Rise in Divorces During COVID-19

The Rise in Divorces During COVID-19

The recent COVID-19 pandemic certainly gave families an opportunity to spend more time together with most people having to work from home. However, for relationships that were already in peril – it offered a somewhat different experience and set of emotions. A recent news article by CBC Global News in July of 2020 reported that divorce rates have increased during the coronavirus pandemic and that lawyers are expecting even more divorce applications in the near future. The only challenge presented by divorce applications during the pandemic is that due to the fact the courts were partially closed for non-urgent matters – divorce applications are taking longer to process.

Canada Expected To See Spike in Divorces as Courts Re-open

While the pandemic isn’t quite over yet – many lawyers across Canada believe that there will continue to be a surge in divorces as courts slowly re-open. Some law firms have already reported seeing a 20% increase in inquiries from people looking to separate from their spouses than before COVID 19 appeared. This trend is not only happening in Canada and the United States – but many law firms have witnessed this same trend in other countries including Italy, Spain and China. These countries are seeing soaring divorce rates. A potential second wave of infections has couples concerned they may have to live through their current situation longer than they wanted – so this may also contribute to the rise in divorces.

Delays in Getting Your Divorce Application Processed

With the COVID 19 pandemic our country (as well as many other countries) had to endure many lockdowns – including courts across Canada. While courts were reviewing emergency family law matters such as emergency orders, child custody and support disputes, etc. – divorce applications were being put on the back burner which to many divorcing/separating couples – only made a challenging situation even more difficult. Some provincial courts were slower than others to adopt new technologies to further delay any court proceedings – but our lawyers are optimistic that whether a second wave hits or not – we’ll still be able to help you get your divorce processed and finalized as soon as possible.

Verhaeghe Law Office’s Edmonton Divorce Lawyers Are Here For You

Verhaeghe Law Office is proud to represent Albertans with their family law and divorce law needs. Our Edmonton divorce lawyers operate out of three offices including Edmonton, St. Albert and Athabasca – making it easier to serve our clients. If you or a loved one are in need of legal assistance to process your divorce – don’t delay and act now. Contact our divorce lawyers now for a consultation with a member of our legal team. If you book a consultation online – a member from our team will be in touch with you within 24 hours. You can call us, email us or live chat with us to get your consultation booked.

Disclaimer: This blog is intended to act as a general overview on a legal topic and does not constitute legal advice. If you require divorce law advice in Alberta – then please consult with a divorce lawyer or family lawyer for specific advice as it pertains to your specific situation.

An Update on Family Law Court Proceedings In Alberta During COVID-19.

An Update on Family Law Court Proceedings In Alberta During COVID-19.

Verhaeghe Law Office is pleased to see the Province of Alberta slowly reopening after months of lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As of June 12, 2020 – gyms, arenas, spas, movie theatres, libraries, pools and sports activities have re-opened and resumed operations in Alberta. People are also allowed to book campsites and sit in restaurants at the same time which has been welcomed by Albertans after months of lockdown. The quota on mass gatherings has also been amended to include a maximum of 50 for indoor gatherings and up to 100 people can congregate outside. So far – Alberta is aiming to have students back in school this September with strict measures in place to protect the health and safety of students and staff. But how are the Alberta courts doing with their resumption plans? The Province of Alberta has prepared a COVID-19 Staged Resumption of Court Operations – Part 1 which can be found here. We’ve also taken the liberty to summarize what court operations look like as of today’s date. For more up to date information please visit the Alberta Courts website.

Access to Provincial Court Houses

Access to provincial court houses in Alberta is currently restricted to individuals required for proceedings before the Court including counsel, litigants, accused, witnesses, support workers and members of the media. There are strict public health guidelines and social distancing protocols in place to ensure the safety and health of all those who attend court. The number of people permitted inside the court will also follow public health and safety guidelines until further notice.

Family Law Proceedings in Edmonton and surrounding areas

Child protection and family law docket courts will be held remotely through virtual technology such as tele conferencing or video conferencing and in some cases – personal attendance may be required and allowed. Child protection hearings will be heard on a case-by-case basis. Family law trials scheduled between May 25th and July 3rd will proceed for parties and their lawyers along with witnesses if required. Emergency protection orders will continue to be heard at court locations during regular court hours. Furthermore, EPO applications may be made by telecommunication in accordance with EPO Telephone Applications (COVID-10 Protocol).

Contact Verhaeghe Law Office For Your Family Law Court Proceedings

Our divorce and family lawyers have been busy assisting Albertans with their divorce proceedings even during COVID-19. Contact our law firm today if you need legal assistance by dialing 587-410-2500 for a consultation with a member of our family law team. You can schedule a consultation by calling us, live chatting with us, emailing us or by filling out an online consultation form. With officers in Edmonton, Whitecourt and Athabasca – we are proud to be able to serve clients across the Greater Edmonton Area.

Disclaimer: Please note the content presented in this article is intended to act as a general overview on a legal topic during the month of June 2020 and in no way is it considered legal advice. For independent legal advice please consult with a lawyer regarding your unique situation.

COVID-19 Resources for Employers and Employees in Alberta

COVID-19 Resources for Employers and Employees in Alberta

The Province of Alberta has listed a series of resources for both employees and employers regarding COVID-19 support which can be found here. A series of prescribed measures have been outlined in an effort to protect both employers and employees from the economic disruption with an overarching aim of positioning Alberta for recovery once this situation is over (or at least contained).

Here is a list of some of the different support initiatives as outlined by both the provincial and federal governments. For a full list please visit the Province of Alberta’s website for more information. Please note this list may change as days go by given that a lot of these programs are temporary programs or one-time programs.

  1. Corporate Income Tax: Balances and installment payments that are due between March 18th to August 31, 2020 are now deferred until August 31, 2020 in an effort to increase access to cashflow temporarily for business owners so they can continue to operate their business. There have also been postponements with respect to due dates for corporate income tax returns. Click here for more information corporate income tax changes in Alberta.
  2. Education Property Tax Deferral: Education property tax rates will be frozen to 2019 rates and the collection of non-residential education property tax is postponed for an additional six months. The deferred amounts however will be expected to be paid back in future tax years. The Province has also asked commercial landlords to extend savings to their tenants by either delayed or reduced payments in an effort to help increase access to cash flow for employers to keep their business operations running. Where possible, businesses who can afford to pay their taxes in full are encouraged to do so as this will allow the provincial government to support Albertans during this unprecedented time.
  3. Utility Payment Deferrals: Residential, farm and small commercial customers can defer electricity and natural gas payments for the next 90 days irrespective of the service provider. You will need to call your utility provider directly to make deferral payment arrangements. Learn more about the utility payment deferral program here.
  4. Job Protected Leave: Full and part-time employees may take 14 days of job-protected leave if they are required to self isolate or are caring for a child or dependent adult who is required to self-isolate. There are eligibility requirements that need to be made however.
  5. Other employment matters: Employers and employees may be eligible for different avenues for time off including vacation pay, leave or banked overtime. While these specific measures are not enforced or mandatory-the Province has outlined when and where these conditions may apply. The federal government has also outlined federal employment insurance benefits that employees may be eligible for. More information on the federal Employment Insurance benefits can be found here.

Contact an Employment Lawyer from Verhaeghe Law Office for all your COVID-19 related employment law matters. For more information on how our Edmonton employment lawyers can help-please call 587-410-2500.

*Please note this blog is intended to act as a general overview on a legal topic and does not constitute as legal advice for your specific situation. In order to get legal advice please consult with an employment lawyer in Alberta regarding all employment law matters.

The Province of Alberta on Paid Leave During COVID-19

The Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta: Emergency Orders during COVID-19 in Alberta

Life for many Albertans has been very different than what it was compared to a few weeks ago. As we adjust to a new normal – we have seen an increase in paid leave legal inquiries from both employers and employees in Alberta regarding COVID-19. While the Federal Government is making announcements almost weekly on individual welfare and government subsidy programs – we have also seen amendments to the Employment Law Standards Act in light of COVID-19.

It is important to note here that because announcements are made daily – the content prescribed in this article is subjected to change. For more up to date resources on COVID-19 in Alberta – please refer to the Province of Alberta’s resource website on COVID-19 support for employers and employees. Please also remember this blog post is only intended to act as a general overview and does not constitute legal advice. For more specific legal advice regarding your situation please contact one of our Edmonton employment lawyers today for a paid legal consultation.

Amendments to the Employment Standards Code on Paid Leave in Alberta

On March 13, 2020 – Premier Jason Kenney announced changes to the Employment Standards Code (ESC) where amendments were made to prevent employees from having to choose whether they should be working or doing what is necessary to protect the public health. The amendment provides a 14-day period that allows employees to protect their job if an employee is required to self-isolate or if an employee is sick or needs to provide care-giver services to a loved one who has tested positive for COVID-19. Employees will not be required to provide a doctor’s note in a situation like this. This leave allows the Province to mandate the 14-day self isolation period as prescribed by Alberta’s chief medical officer – especially for people who are returning to Canada after traveling abroad. It also prevents doctors’ offices and clinics from being overburdened for doctor’s note requests.

Who is responsible for Paid Leave in Alberta?

At this time, there is still uncertainty as to who will be financially responsible for the paid leave – specifically, whether the Federal Government, Provincial Government, Employment Insurance or individual employers and business owner. We suspect that as time goes on – further amendments may be made depending on the gravity of the COVID-19 situation and whether significant improvements have been made in flattening the curve. While there remain numerous discussions on how the amendments to the ESC does not offer protections for employers and business owners – the Province of Alberta has said they are working towards a solution to address these challenges for employers and business owners. If you are an employer or small business owner – contact our law office today to speak with an employment lawyer on COVID-19 workplace law matters. The same goes if you are an employee and would like more information about your rights as an employee during COVID-19.

Contact Verhaeghe Law Office for a Consultation With An Edmonton Employment Lawyer

Verhaeghe Law Office has recently seen an increase in employment law inquiries. Our Edmonton employment lawyers are on stand-by to offer legal advice on all Alberta related COVID-19 employment law matters whether you are an employee or an employer. Contact us today by calling 587-410-2500 or live chat with us now to book an online consultation.

*Disclaimer: Please note this blog is intended to act as a general overview on a legal topic and does not constitute as legal advice for your specific situation. Every legal situation is different, and we strongly recommend you consult with an employment lawyer in Alberta regarding all employment law matters. You may contact our law offices for legal advice and legal advice can be provided after a client-lawyer relationship has been established contractually.