Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can I be terminated during COVID-19?

    Yes, but unless your employer is terminating you for cause, your employer must give you notice, or pay instead of notice. How much notice or pay you are entitled to depends on how long you have been working for your employer. The chart below sets out the notice periods under the Employment Standards Code,

    Length of Employment | Amount of Notice
    More than 30 days, less than a year | 1 week
    1 year to 3 years | 2 weeks
    3 years to 5 years | 4 weeks
    5 years to 10 years | 6 weeks
    Over 10 years | 8 weeks

    If you are a long-term employee, you may be entitled to more notice or pay instead of notice. You should talk to an employment lawyer.

  • Can I bring a family member to my family court motion for support?

    Courts are open to the public and you may bring a family member or friend to court with you. Some proceedings are closed to the public (such as case conferences) and you will not be able to bring anyone to such court appearances besides your lawyer. Ask your lawyer for more information on the specific appearance and whether you can bring someone on that date.

  • Can I bring a friend to a case conference?

    Only you, your lawyer if you have one, and the other party with their lawyer will be able to attend the case conference with the judge. Case conferences are not open to the public. Having proceedings closed is supposed to encourage open discussions between the parties. Anything discussed at the case conference is “without prejudice”, meaning it can’t be referred to at motions or at trial. The case conference judge will not be the judge for future motions or trial.

  • Can I do anything if I am served with a dismissal order?

    Repealed

  • Can I extend a Peace Bond for more than a year?

    Peace Bonds cannot be renewed but you can apply for a new one if you still have reason to fear the person.

  • Can I file for divorce even if I am still living with my spouse for financial reasons?

    Yes. You can still file for divorce as long as you have been living separate and apart in the same household. This usually means that you have separate bedrooms, do not perform chores for each other, have informed your friends and family that you are separated, and are living separate lives.

  • Can I file for divorce without a lawyer?

    Yes. However, it is a good idea to have a family law lawyer help you with the process. You can get the forms for a divorce from the Law Courts Building at 408 York Avenue in Winnipeg. Community Legal Education Association also sells an Uncontested Divorce Guide for $30.

    You can also get the forms online at:

  • Can I get an annulment if I was only married for a few months before separating?

    The length of the marriage is not a relevant ground for annulment. Grounds for annulment include – lack of consent (drunk or incompetent), already married, under age, duress, non-consummation.

  • Can I get in trouble for not following social distancing?

    Social distancing is a health recommendation, not law. You are not legally required to stay 2 metres away from other people, although this is what health experts have recommended to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

    However, the Manitoba government has enacted a number of public health orders that you are legally required to follow throughout the province. As of September 4th, these include:

    • You must self-isolate for 14 days if you have tested positive for COVID-19 or if you have been exposed to COVID-19 by a close contact.
    • Anyone entering Manitoba from Ontario (except for Northwest Ontario), Québec, or the eastern provinces must self-isolate for 14 days upon arriving in Manitoba. People arriving from BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Northwest Ontario, Yukon, Northwest Territories, or Nunavut do not  need to self-isolate, as long as they are not showing any symptoms.
    • No travel north of the 53rd parallel or to remote communities. There are some exceptions, which can be found in the order here. Anyone travelling to Northern Manitoba must respect any additional restrictions put in place by local communities and First Nations.
    • No gathering in groups of more than 50 indoors, or in groups of more than 100 outdoors. There are some exceptions, which can be found in the August 24th order here.

    There may also be additional restrictions in place for health regions that have suffered large COVID outbreaks. As of September 28th, masks will be required for all indoor public places in Winnipeg, and both indoor and outdoor gatherings will be limited to 10 people. For more information, visit the Government of Manitoba website here.

    For a full list of up to date information, please visit the Government of Manitoba website here. Individuals who do not comply with the public health orders could be fined $486, and corporations that do not comply could be fined $2,542.

    The Government of Canada has also put an emergency order in place under the Quarantine Act that applies to travellers entering Canada from other countries. Violating the order could result in high fines and/or jail time. For more information about this order, visit the Government of Canada website here.

  • Can I get my mail held or forwarded to my home?

    Yes, and there is no cost for either service. If you’ve already paid for the service, you can ask for a refund online.

  • Can I incorporate a not-for-profit organization on my own?

    A not-for-profit organization must be incorporated by three or more directors who are not bankrupt. For more information, see CLEA’s booklet Not-for-Profit Organizations in Manitoba: Beginning and Incorporating (https://www.communitylegal.mb.ca/publications-store/).

    The Companies Office also has more information here: companiesoffice.gov.mb.ca/notices/non_profit.pdf

  • Can I indicate who should be the guardian of my children in my will?

    You can indicate in your will whom you want to be the guardian of your children. That person will still have to go to court to get guardianship. The court makes the final decision about guardianship. However, instructions in a will can be taken into account by the court as a highly persuasive statement of the parent’s preference.

  • Can I just get my divorce granted and deal with all my other family law issues later?

    In some cases you may apply to sever an issue and have separate hearings in the same court proceeding. The court has discretion about whether to allow such a severance and they will consider whether there is a valid reason for the severance. The court is supposed to avoid multiple proceedings where they are not necessary.

  • Can I lay criminal charges myself?

    You can attempt a private prosecution. If successful, a judge will order that charges be laid against the accused. For more details on private prosecutions, contact a lawyer or a local court house.

  • Can I lay criminal charges myself?

    You can attempt a private prosecution. If successful, a judge will order that charges be laid against the accused. For more details on private prosecutions, contact a lawyer or a local court house.

  • Can I make changes to my will without having to redo the entire document?

    Yes. You can make an addition to a will, called a codicil. Any changes to a will must be executed in the same manner as the original will. The alteration or codicil must be signed by the maker of the will and two witnesses.

  • Can I name my 17 year old daughter as Executor of my will?

    An Executor in Manitoba must be 18 years old to act. If the Executor of an estate is a minor, a guardian would act on their behalf until they are 18.

  • Can I refuse to work if I am worried about COVID-19?

    If your work is an essential service, you are expected to show up like usual. If you don’t, your employer could take disciplinary action against you.

    You can refuse to work if you believe the work is putting you in real and imminent harm. However, the risk that you could be exposed to the virus is likely not enough to refuse to work. The threat of harm must be greater than just a possibility.

    If you have an existing condition that puts you at greater risk of contracting COVID-19, speak to your employer about your concerns. They likely have a duty to accommodate you under The Human Rights Code.

    For more information, contact the Manitoba Human Rights Commission.

  • Can I request the court order have the other parent keep our child on their medical and dental insurance plan from their employment?

    Yes.

  • Can I request the court order to have the other parent keep our child on their medical and dental insurance plan from their employment?

    Yes.

  • Can I sponsor my adoptive parents?

    Yes. If your adoptive parents are not Canadian or Canadian permanent residents, you are allowed to sponsor them because they are related to you by adoption.