Services in Ontario - Getting help in Family law

Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) – Family summary advice

Website

https://www.legalaid.on.ca/en/getting/type_family.asp

Contact Information

Phone 416-979-1446 Toll-free 1-800-668-8258 TTY 416-598-8867 Toll-free TTY TTY (teletypewriter) – Use Bell’s Relay Service: 1 800 855 0511

During the COVID-19 situation, LAO is offering more telephone support. Call LAO’s summary advice line at 1-800-668-8258 for more information.

LAO has a free summary advice line that can give you up to 20 minutes of information and general advice about your family law matter.

This includes information about:

  • your legal options and what might happen
  • separation, divorce, decision-making responsibility, parenting time, child support, or spousal support
  • the family court process and mediation

You usually have to call and give some information about your legal issue and where you live, and a lawyer will call you back.

Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) – Legal aid certificates

Website

https://www.legalaid.on.ca/will-legal-aid-pay-for-my-lawyer/

Contact Information

Phone 416-979-1446 Toll-free 1-800-668-8258 TTY 416-598-8867 Toll-free TTY TTY (teletypewriter) – Use Bell’s Relay Service: 1 800 855 0511

If you get a legal aid certificate, this means that LAO pays a lawyer to work for you. To get a certificate you must show that you have a low income by giving information about your income, property, and savings.

And, your legal issue must be one that LAO covers. You may get a certificate for some legal issues about:

  • domestic violence
  • family law
  • criminal law
  • immigration law
  • refugee law

To apply for a legal aid certificate:

Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) – Family Law Service Centres

Website

https://www.legalaid.on.ca/documents/family-law-service-centres-flsc/

Contact Information

Toll-free 1-800-668-8258

LAO funds family law service centres across the province that can help with a number of family matters. At these centres you can connect with a family lawyer who can:

  • help answer your questions
  • see if you qualify for additional services from LAO
  • prepare court documents, in some cases

You must call to make an appointment. To qualify for legal aid, you must show that you have a low income by giving information about your income, property, and savings. And, your family law issue must be one that LAO covers.

Check the list of centres to see where they are and when they are open.

Student Legal Service Organizations (SLSO)

Legal Aid Ontario funds Student Legal Aid Services Societies that operate out of Ontario’s law schools. They offer free legal help to people with a low income in certain legal areas, including minor crimes, housing, and immigration, and when dealing with some tribunals.

They can also help with some family law issues, such as child custody, access, and child support issues. And some help with other family law issues, such as property division and spousal support.

Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) – Family duty counsel

Website

https://www.legalaid.on.ca/services/family-legal-issues/

Contact Information

Phone 416-979-1446 Toll-free 1-800-668-8258 TTY 416-598-8867 Toll-free TTY TTY (teletypewriter) – Use Bell’s Relay Service: 1 800 855 0511

During the COVID-19 situation, duty counsel services are being provided by phone. Call LAO’s summary advice line at 1-800-668-8258 for more information.

Family duty counsel give free legal advice to people who don’t have a lawyer on the day of their hearing and who have a low income. Family duty counsel are paid for by LAO and are at every family law court.

They can’t represent you at a trial, but they can:

  • give legal advice and information about the court process
  • help work out an agreement
  • review and help prepare court documents
  • help in the courtroom for certain things like asking for your case to be postponed, and at child protection hearings and hearings related to child and spousal support
  • help in hearings before a trial for issues like custody, access, child protection, or support, when the issues are not complicated
  • make referrals to other sources of help, such as mediation or finding your own lawyer

Family Law Information Centres (FLIC)

During the COVID-19 situation, Information and Referral Coordinators (IRCs) are available remotely at certain times. Contact the family law office at your local courthouse for more information.

FLIC’s are available in every court in Ontario that deals with family law. All have free pamphlets. Many have staff who can:

  • tell you about community and legal services
  • explain the court process
  • tell you about ways to solve legal issues without going to court

Some FLICs have advice lawyers at certain times. These are lawyers paid by Legal Aid Ontario to answer questions, give general legal advice, and review legal documents on family law issues.

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 lsrs@lso.ca. 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

Website

https://www.centreinfojuridique.ca/en/

Contact Information

Phone 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 any area of law in English or French. You may have to leave a message, and a lawyer will call you back.

Law Society of Ontario – Lawyer and Paralegal Directory

The directory lists all lawyers and paralegals licensed to give legal services in Ontario. You can search by name, address or postal code, language, and area of law. You can also search for services offered in French and for unbundled services.

JusticeNet

Website

http://www.justicenet.ca

Contact Information

Phone 416-479-0551 Toll-free 1-866-919-3219

JusticeNet helps people find a legal professional if their income is too high to get legal aid but too low to afford legal fees. If your net family income is less than $59,000, they refer you to an online directory of lawyers, paralegals, and mediators who provide help at reduced rates.

JusticeNet is a non-profit organization. You must register and pay a fee to use the website. They may return the fee if you don’t find a professional to work with.

Agincourt Community Services Association (ACSA)

Website

https://acsanewcomerscentre.typeform.com/to/wveknVtV

Contact Information

Phone 416-292-6912 ext 335

The ACSA Legal Assistance Centre has a virtual legal clinic that is open on Saturdays from 11 am to 1 pm for people living in Ontario. It is run by volunteer lawyers who can give a free 20-minute consultation on some immigration, family, and housing law issues.

There is no financial eligibility test to use the service. You can book an appointment online, or by phone or email.

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