1. Ask for the Office of the Children’s Lawyer help

The (OCL) represents children under the age of 18 in some court cases. The only way the OCL gets involved is with the request of a judge.

If the judge decides they need independent information about your child's wishes or what is in the , they may ask the OCL to get involved with your family.

The OCL decides whether or not to accept your case.

The OCL agrees to get involved in cases where they believe that its services could be the most help to children. Priority is given to cases where the children are experiencing significant difficulties as a result of conflict within their family.

Some examples of when the OCL might not accept your case are:

  • Your child does not live in Ontario
  • You, your partner, and your child don't live in the same area
  • You plan to do a private assessment or try
  • You had a private assessment done within the past year
  • You and your partner already had other assessments done and have been in court for a long time without being able to settle things
  • You or your partner is trying use an assessment to get evidence to use at trial
  • There are other ways to try to resolve the judge's concerns and those ways have to be tried first
  • Your child's situation would not be improved by OCL involvement
  • The is conducting an investigation

If the judge makes an order requesting that the OCL get involved, you and your partner each have to fill out an intake form within 14 days.

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