LAO introduces separation agreement certificates
Posted: Thursday, July 3, 2014
Starting on July 3, 2014, Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) will issue certificates to cover up to 10 hours for the negotiation and creation of a separation agreement to settle custody, access, support and property issues.
Financially eligible clients can receive help from a family panel lawyer on:
- 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 appropriate)
- filing a separation agreement with the court (if appropriate)
Where one spouse is financially eligible for a lawyer, the other spouse may also be eligible, as long as they earn up to a maximum of $50,000.
Individuals who are separating should contact LAO’s toll-free line at 1-800-668-8258 to learn if they’re eligible for lawyers.
This new certificate is part of LAO’s slate of programs and services to address the unmet legal needs of family litigants and to increase access to justice for low-income Ontarians.
LAO’s family law strategy aims to reduce the number of unrepresented family litigants, provide an avenue for consensual dispute resolution, expand the early resolution service sector and provide holistic and integrated services.
LAO currently offers a wide range of family law services including summary legal advice, mediation, assistance from lawyers at family law information centres and family law service centres, representation by private practice lawyers, and settlement conferences.