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How Divorce Has Been Impacted Since The Pandemic

pandemic, COVID, family lawyer Ontario

With the stress of the pandemic and homeschooling children rising, many couples are finding it difficult to work on their marriage with calm heads.

Living in lockdown for a year has caused a large increase in divorce cases for Ontarians, which leads us to ask, how has divorce been impacted since the pandemic began?

There are a couple of different reasons that we have found that may answer that question. 

Can’t Get Away From Each Other For Breathing Room

Typically couples working on their marriage might need some time apart on certain days when the tension gets too high. 

The pandemic has created a lot of issues regarding personal space and the ability to leave a high-pressure situation, or find some other avenue to diffuse the situation. 

This lack of space has added a significant strain on relationships, leading to poor communication and angst.

Challenges with Online Divorce Proceedings

Before COVID-19, the number of backlogged cases in the court system was substantial, which has only increased as the pandemic continues to drag on. 

Because of the provincial shutdowns, in-person court attendances have been forced to open and shut down in an inconsistent pattern, thus increasing the waitlist of court proceedings in divorce law. 

Online family law cases will typically favour domestic violence or child protective services first before divorce cases are brought forward. 

Inability to See Children On a Regular Basis

Because of the delays that are currently occurring in court, there are a lot of separated couples with the divorce not having been finalized yet. This has caused many parenting issues, in terms of when and where they can see their children.

Many parents who are entitled to see their children are not seeing them on a regular basis due to COVID-19 and the restrictions on household circles, or ‘bubbles’. 

Typically the child will live with one parent and will visit the other parent on designated days and times, but now there have been a lot of delayed and rescheduled events as other cases, such as criminal cases, are being dealt with first. 

It is important to note though, that in situations where a child is being withheld from a parent, that parent may move in court for an in-person hearing on an urgent basis.


The best way to get ahead in your divorce case is to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible. Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to start your divorce proceedings, or possibly even settle out of court.  Many law firms have adapted to the pandemic and are conducting virtual settlement meetings and mediations to resolve family law matters in an expeditious manner.

For any questions regarding divorce law, family law in Ontario, or child custody battles, feel free to contact us today for a free 30-minute consultation.  Our offices remain open for in-person meetings, as well as, virtual or telephone consultations.