COVID-19 FAQs: Family
On this page:
- What kind of matters are the courts hearing?
- The easing of public health measures means increased capacity for courts to return to in-person proceedings. Visit ontariocourts.ca to find out what method (in-person, video, or phone) each type of matter is being heard by the family courts.
- What counts as an urgent matter?
- The following are considered “urgent matters” in family court:
- anything relating to the safety of a child or parent
- anything about the well-being of a child including essential medical decisions or if a child has been taken or kept against orders
- financial issues that impact child support
- in a child protection case, all urgent or required events including the initial hearing after a child has been brought to a safe place and any other urgent motions or hearings
If your matter is at the Superior Court of Justice, a complete list of family matters that will be heard in each region is outlined on the notice from April 2.
If your matter is at the Ontario Court of Justice, a complete list of family matters that will be heard is outlined on their page defining urgent matters.
- How do I file an urgent motion at the Superior Court of Justice?
- The Superior Court has instructions on how to file urgent matters and how to schedule a hearing on their website. (Please scroll down to “B. Procedure to Bring an Urgent Matter.”)
You can also email your local courthouse to submit your forms and documents.
- How do I file an urgent motion at the Ontario Court of Justice?
- The Ontario Court of Justice has instructions on how to file urgent matters on their website. (Please scroll down to “Urgent Family Matters.”)
- What forms do I have to fill out to file an urgent motion?
- You will have to complete Form 14A and 14B. Please call us at 1‑800-668‑8258 to speak with a family lawyer for advice if you are unsure about anything with these forms.
- Form 14B: Motion Form. You must write the orders you’re asking the court to make, as well as the rules and laws that apply to the facts of your case.
- Form 14A: Affidavit (General). In this form, you give the evidence to show why you want the court to make the orders you’re asking for. You can attach any relevant documents to this form as an “exhibit.” Your affidavit must identify each exhibit that you attach, in an alphabetic sequence (for example, you may write “Attached as ‘Exhibit A’ is a copy of an access schedule, agreed upon by me and the respondent”). You must swear or affirm that the information in this form is true, and sign the form in front of a commissioner for taking affidavits. There are commissioners at all family court offices who will commission the form for free.
- Where can I get more information on what the court’s COVID-19 protocols?
- You can learn more about COVID-19 protocols on the court websites:
- Will the Family Responsibility Office (FRO) garnish my Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) to satisfy my child support obligation?
- No, this money cannot be garnished. The CERB is considered a unique, time-limited benefit that cannot be garnished by the FRO.
- How do I get an affidavit sworn by a Commissioner of Oaths during this time?
- Contact the courthouse where you’re filing your documents and you will be given instructions on how you can get your documents confirmed/affirmed by a court official who is authorized to take affidavits.
If it’s not possible to email a sworn affidavit, you may be asked to send in an unsworn affidavit by mail or fax, and participate in a telephone or videoconference hearing to swear or affirm affidavits.