The COVID-19 pandemic has caused stress and anxiety for many Albertans. Families in Alberta are facing new challenges with co-parenting and domestic violence, which only become more urgent as our isolation continues.
Legal Aid Alberta (LAA) is here to help Albertans navigate these challenging times. Our organization has developed two free resources for Alberta families based on common principles of family law and the current practice of Alberta Courts during COVID-19. Available on our website, these resources are part of a planned series of information bulletins to assist Albertans during this crisis and beyond. We encourage you to share them with anyone you think may find them helpful during this time.
Co-Parenting in Alberta During COVID-19
During a crisis such as the current COVID-19 pandemic, shared responsibility for parenting may seem overwhelming when you don’t have the information you need to make decisions. Our free Family Law resource has information to help parents who are sharing custody of children navigate the complexities of co-parenting during a pandemic. It includes court information, guidelines for parents, and answers to frequently asked questions about co-parenting, support payments, and child welfare issues.
As a good rule of thumb, co-parenting during a pandemic is no different than when there is no pandemic: decisions should be made in your child’s best interests. This usually means doing what you can to work together, solve problems, and be generous with each other. Read more here.
Supporting Victims of Family Violence During COVID-19
Both the Provincial Court of Alberta and the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta are closed to the public. However, Emergency Protection Order applications and reviews are still proceeding due to their urgent nature. LAA helps victims of family violence through our Emergency Protection Order Program. This program provides information and a lawyer to help Albertans obtain and confirm protection orders.
This service normally requires the Applicant and the Respondent to appear in person at the courthouse. However, since the courts are closed, these services are now being offered by LAA through remote court appearances and after-hours service. This assistance will make the process of obtaining an Emergency Protection Order much less stressful for the applicant and improve access to justice during COVID-19. Read more here.
LAA continues to take a leadership role in developing new and innovative processes and practices to resolve legal matters remotely during this pandemic. For more information about what LAA is doing to manage the impacts of COVID-19, visit our website or follow us on social media.