Services in Ontario - Marriage and common‑law relationships
Contact InformationPhone 416-326-1234 Toll-free 1-800-267-8097 TTY 416-325-3408 Toll-free TTY 1-800-268-7095
ServiceOntario is a central place to find out about services provided by the Ontario government. For example, with ServiceOntario, you can:
- apply for or renew a health card
- register your child’s birth
- change your name
- apply for a marriage certificate or birth certificate
- apply for a driver’s licence and renew a license or plate sticker
If you were adopted in Ontario or your child was placed for adoption, you might be able to get information from your birth and adoption records through ServiceOntario.
Use their Service Finder to see if the service you need is offered online or if you need to go to a ServiceOntario office.
Law Society Referral Service
The Law Society of Ontario has on online Law Society Referral Service that gives you the name of a lawyer or licensed paralegal who will give free legal advice for up to 30 minutes in any area of law.
If you can’t wait for a legal representative to call you back, or if you don’t have a call-back number, email email@example.com. Or, if you’re in crisis or in custody, call 1-855-947-5255 or 416-947-5255, Monday to Friday, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Ontario Legal Information Centre
Contact InformationPhone 613-842-7462 Toll-free 1-844-343-7462
The Ontario Legal Information Centre offers a free 30-minute meeting with a lawyer to anyone in Ontario by telephone or in person at their Ottawa office in English or French. They can provide legal information in any legal topic, and referrals to services. You have to leave a message and a lawyer will call you back.
Law Society of Ontario – Lawyer and Paralegal Directory
Ontario’s Family Law Limited Scope Services Project
The website has a directory of family law lawyers that provide unbundled services. You can search by location, name, and language.
Unbundled services can also be called limited scope services, unbundled legal services, or legal coaching. This means you pay a lawyer to help you with part of your case, for example:
- Legal advice: meeting with a lawyer to get advice on what your legal options are
- Preparing documents: a lawyer prepares your documents, for example, a court application or a separation agreement
- Appearances: a lawyer represents you in legal situations, for example, at a court hearing, or at a case conference
- Coaching: a lawyer guides you through the court process, or explains how to submit evidence
The Advice and Settlement Counsel (ASC)
The Advice and Settlement Counsel (ASC) provides people who don’t have a lawyer with 1 hour of advice with a lawyer for $200 plus HST. The service can help you:
- prepare for a court attendance, case conference, or motion
- negotiate consents when both parties are present
- give advice about potential settlements, drafting agreements, and court procedures
- give advice on a consent you have negotiated with a Dispute Resolution Officer (DRO) or at mediation, court conference, or motion
- prepare “to do” lists so that you understand what steps need to be taken next
To use the ASC, you can check their calendar to see which lawyers are available. All lawyers spend at least 50% of their practice in family law and have at least 5 years experience. You will also be required to complete a form that confirms your identity, sign a consent, pay the fee, and sign a retainer agreement that explains the service you are getting. You will be charged extra for any time over 1 hour.
JusticeNet is a not-for-profit organization that can help people find legal services when their income is too high for legal aid and too low to afford legal fees. Their website has a list of lawyers, paralegals, and mediators who charge reduced fees based on your income and the size of your family. You must register and pay a small fee to use their services.