Getting legal help
You are person who identifies as First Nation, Métis or Inuit
Legal Aid Ontario puts people who are Aboriginal at the front of the line for many services. This means that if you are an Aboriginal person, it is important that you tell your lawyer or the lawyer in court (duty counsel) that you identify as First Nation, Métis or Inuit, so they can give you advice and represent you based on the areas of law that deal with Aboriginal circumstances or rights.
LAO has also expanded legal aid services to people who self-identify as First Nation, Métis or Inuit who are financially eligible as follows:
Children’s Aid is launching a child protection proceeding and...
...you, a grandparent or other member of that child’s Aboriginal home community, want to take care of the child yourself
Children’s Aid is launching a child protection proceeding that will place a child in foster care as a ward of the state. But you, a grandparent or other member of that child’s Aboriginal home community, want to take care of the child yourself. Ontario has laws — set out in the Child and Family Services Act — that recognize the importance of Aboriginal children’s heritage and culture. These laws also recognize the key role of the extended family and community involvement in children’s lives. This means you may be able to hire a lawyer to help you keep the child and also allow the child to stay in the care of grandparents, aunts, uncles or other possible caregivers in your home community. The lawyer will help you develop a “plan of care,” to show Children’s Aid how you will take care of the child.
...you want to stay out of (and keep your children out of) court proceedings and want to
- negotiate a customary care agreement, special needs agreement or temporary care agreement
- take part in an Aboriginal alternative dispute resolution process, such as Talking Together or Talking Circles.
You are a survivor of domestic violence who has been charged criminally for the first time after defending yourself against an abusive partner.
You are in jail, waiting a decision on bail or being denied bail
You may be eligible for a lawyer to help you get out of jail while you wait for a trial or bail hearing:
- for another bail hearing
- to get you better bail conditions, challenge your bail order, or improve the conditions of your bail release
You need the help of a family lawyer and one or more of these applies to you
- Your family law case includes many different legal issues.
- You are a self-employed parent.
- You are making a Hague application (your lawyer will tell you about this if it’s relevant).
- You are claiming matrimonial property on a reserve.
- You are making a mobility claim.
- You have mental health or addiction issues.
- You have literacy issues.
- You do not understand English or French well, or have another language barrier.
- Your case involves many other people.
- You are a parent aged 18 years of age or under.
- You are under 22 years of age and need legal advice and support about starting an access or child support claim against your parent(s).
- You are 65 years of age or over.
Call us toll-free at 1-800-668-8258.