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What can I do now that duty counsel and FLICs are not available at court?

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What can I do now that duty counsel and FLICs are not available at court?
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What can I do now that duty counsel and FLICs are not available at court?
Reviewed: 
April 7, 2020
Answer

As of March 20, 2020, you can’t get in-person help from duty counsel or Family Law Information Centres (FLICs) at family and criminal law courts because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here are some ways you can get information and help:

Family mediation and information services

Information and Referral Coordinator (IRC)

There are Family Law Information Centres (FLICs) in every Ontario courthouse that deals with family law. Many FLICs also have staff who can give general information and make referrals.

Information and Referral Coordinators (IRCs) are now available remotely at certain times. IRCs can give you information about family mediation and other ways to solve your issues without going to court.

Mediation

Family mediation is a way of helping people resolve issues like parenting, support, and property division.

Mediation is voluntary. This means that you and your partner have to agree to work with a mediator. A mediator is a person trained to help you agree on your issues without taking sides. They help you and your partner try and reach an agreement.

Off-site family mediation services are available. You can get up to 8 hours of mediation for a fee that is based on each person's income and number of dependents. Fees start as low as $5 per hour. 

Contact service providers for an appointment or more information.

Telephone support

LAO summary legal advice

Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) is offering more telephone support. Increased summary legal advice is now available over the phone for family and criminal matters. Anyone can use this service to get legal advice and information. It doesn’t matter what your income is. LAO’s goal is to have a lawyer respond to every family and criminal question it gets within 48 hours or less.

To use this service call 1‑800‑668‑8258.

LSO emergency family law referral telephone line

The Law Society of Ontario (LSO) has set up a temporary emergency family law referral telephone line. You can call this service if you have a family law issue and you:

  • don’t have a lawyer
  • don’t know if your issue is urgent for the court to deal with it
  • don’t know your next steps if your matter is urgent

If this is your situation, the referral service will help you get 30 minutes of free legal advice and information from a family law lawyer.

To use this service, call 416-947-3310 or 1-800-268-7568.

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