Legal Aid Ontario helps families through new centres

Posted on: Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Low-income Ontarians now have more options available to them in resolving family law issues through Legal Aid Ontario’s new family law service centres.

The family law centres offer a broader range of services such as mediation and settlement conferences so clients have an alternative to going to court with their family law issues. The centres will act as one-stop resources for clients seeking information, support and family legal services, and each client will be provided a focused intervention at the outset to determine how we can help.

Each centre – located in Toronto, Brampton, North York and Newmarket – is staffed by family lawyers, and legal aid support workers. Lawyers and support staff are available to assist clients with document preparation, provide referrals for other services and legal advice. Staff at the centres also work closely with family law staff duty counsel, as well as qualified members of the private bar who accept family law legal aid certificates in child protection, domestic violence and high conflict cases.

Early access to legal information, early assessment of cases and the diversion of appropriate cases to other forms of dispute resolution are the goals of LAO's approach to family justice. Through its family law service centres, Legal Aid Ontario is increasing access to justice to our most vulnerable citizens experiencing family conflict, while supporting the Ministry of Attorney General’s family process reform initiatives.

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