1. Talk to a lawyer

What if I need a court order quickly to deal with partner abuse issues?
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1. Talk to a lawyer

It is very important to talk to a lawyer if you are worried about your safety or your children's safety.

A lawyer can explain:

  • what the law says and how it applies to your situation
  • if you are likely to be successful on an urgent motion
  • what forms you need to complete and what evidence you need for your motion

If you have experienced family violence and need immediate legal help, you might be able to get 2 hours of free advice from a lawyer. This service is offered through some women's shelters, community legal clinics, and Family Law Service Centres. Or you can call Legal Aid Ontario at 1-800-668-8258 to find out more.

If you have experienced sexual abuse and live in Toronto, Ottawa, or Thunder Bay, you might be able to get 4 hours of free advice from a lawyer. You have to complete a voucher request form. Or you can call the Independent Legal Advice for Sexual Assault Survivors Pilot Program at 1-855-226-3904 to find out more.

If you want to get a restraining order only and there are no other family issues, you might be able to get up to 6 hours of free legal help. If you want a restraining order and other family law orders, you have to apply for a regular legal aid certificate. You can call Legal Aid Ontario at 1-800-668-8258 to find out more.

If you can't afford to hire a lawyer for your whole case, some lawyers provide "unbundled services" or "limited scope retainer" services. This means you pay them to help you with only certain things, like getting a restraining order or drafting a court document.

If you can't afford to hire a lawyer at all, you may be able to find legal help in other places.

You can also talk to duty counsel. Duty counsel is a lawyer at the family court who can help you. You can discuss your situation with them before you prepare your motion. They can also review your court forms. They might have helpful suggestions that may help you get your court order. For example, they may tell you what evidence you will need.

Family Court Support Workers also help victims of partner abuse prepare for family court.

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Legal Aid Ontario
Reviewed: August 31, 2017

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