250 595-2220
VLSA Meeting shared their knowledge

You may have heard that the CODIV-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has caused BC Courts to suspend regular operations.  In other words, the Courts have severely reduced the services offered to the public, including family law clients.   We can help if you have concerns.

We want you to know that your family law case can continue to progress, and there are options to court to obtain decisions in your family law case such as mediation and arbitration.

First, here are some changes the Courts have implemented effective March 18, 2020: 

1.       BC Provincial Court Changes

a.       All regular operations are suspended

b.       Only urgent family law matters in specific circumstances are heard by the Court. 

Some examples of urgent family matters in Provincial Court include:

§  Requests for urgent relief relating to the safety of a child or parent

§  Requests relating to protection orders

§  Urgent orders involving parenting time, contact with a child or communication between parties

2.       BC Supreme Court Changes

a.       All regular operations are suspended

b.       All family matters scheduled for hearing between March 19, 2020 and May 1, 2020 are adjourned.

c.       The Court will hear only essential or urgent matters

Examples of urgent family matters in Supreme Court include:

§  Matters relating to the safety of a child or parent due to a risk of violence or immediate harm

§  Matters relating to the risk of removal of a child from the jurisdiction

§  Orders relating to the well-being of a child.

Second, Brown Henderson Melbye is on top of the Court’s operations and we factor this into how we can help you and your family.  For instance:

A.      Our lawyers consider the reduced Court services in the legal advice and options we give clients, both existing and new; 

And

B.      Our mediators, arbitrators and parenting coordinator offer a range of dispute resolution options as an alternative to Court and we can provide these services online so you speak to us from the comfort of your own home.  Some benefits these dispute resolution options provide are:   

·         They are private and decisions can be obtained within a predictable timeframe,

·         They can result in awards that are analogous to court orders, and

·         Arbitration and mediation-arbitration can be used to address short term immediate concerns (what lawyers call interim matters) or all of your legal matters on a final basis.

Brown Henderson Melbye has many qualified mediators who can guide parties through mediation with lawyers (represented) or without lawyers (unrepresented clients).

We can also conduct arbitration, mediation and parenting-coordination remotely or again in person when coronavirus concerns eventually diminish.

If you are wondering how your case will be impacted or options to consider in these changing times call your lawyer. You can also learn more about the dispute resolution options we offer by calling Patricia Routien at 250-595-2220 extension 217.