For family lawyers

Separation agreement certificate

LAO aims to help clients resolve their issues earlier by offering them a separation agreement certificate, for legal services outside of the litigation process. They can use this certificate to retain a panel family lawyer who can assist with the negotiation and creation of a separation agreement.

Your clients may be eligible for this certificate if they are dealing with:

  • custody
  • access
  • child support
  • spousal support
  • property division

This certificate covers up to 10 hours to help your client with:

  • obtaining and reviewing disclosure
  • preparing a sworn financial statement, where support or property are at issue
  • engaging in negotiation and/or settlement discussions with the opposing party
  • participating in mediation or an LAO settlement conference (if appropriate)
  • preparing and reviewing a separation agreement
  • finalizing a separation agreement
  • converting a separation agreement into a court order (if necessary)
  • filing a separation agreement with the court (if necessary)

When one spouse is financially eligible under the duty counsel financial eligibility test, the other spouse may also be eligible, as long as that person earns up to a maximum of $50,000.

Step by step: the process for clients

Apply for legal aid

Please ask potential clients to call LAO's toll-free line at 1-800-668-8258 to see if they're financially eligible for up to 10 hours with a family panel lawyer to help with a separation agreement. Duty counsel or advice counsel may also refer clients to this service.

Retain a lawyer

Once approved, clients get a certificate number and a list of family panel lawyers, from which they select and retain one.

LAO acknowledges the certificate

Family lawyers log onto Legal Aid Online to acknowledge the certificate before proceeding to help the client.