Ontario collaborative family lawyer Russell Alexander delayed the release of his second book because of the pandemic; however, the delay allowed him to add another chapter.
“We started to get a bunch of new questions from clients that we hadn’t received,” said Alexander.
“Initially the questions were about getting the courts open. If I have a court order and an agreement can I enforce it?”
Alexander, whose home base is Lindsay, Ont., said some parents were using the pandemic as a way to change custody of their children.
“They were complaining the other spouse was a health-care worker or a first responder,” he said. “And some parents were just not returning their children.”
Alexander said his firm is now fielding questions about property in this pandemic.
“People’s investments have changed. How do they divide their assets?”
When asked if divorce rates are up, Alexander said the fact courts are closed except for emergencies makes it hard to evaluate the impact of the pandemic, but signs are out there that more people want to end their marriages.
“Law firms that I’ve spoken with have received increased calls, more people ready to move on with their relationship,” he said.
Alexander said people are getting advice on divorce from friends or someone who has gone through it. However, he wants to provide advice that is reliable and applies to people in Ontario.