LAO and Parry Sound Friendship Centre partnering for family law workshops
Wednesday, March 13
Exactly how does the court process work if you’re trying to arrange a legal separation and have never before set foot in a courtroom? How do you prepare documents to change child support or custody arrangements?
Legal Aid Ontario’s (LAO's) Central District office have partnered with the Parry Sound Friendship Centre to provide the local community with answers to these tough family law questions. They hosted an all-day gathering at the friendship centre on Nov. 20, 2012, and plans are now afoot for future community events.
“It was a great first event for this community, and we look forward to similar workshops in Spring 2013.”
- Christine Lunn, District Area Director of LAO’s Central District
To develop these events, Christine Lunn, District Area Director of LAO’s Central District, reached out to Dave Rice, an Aboriginal court worker who supports the region’s urban Aboriginal peoples out of the Parry Sound Friendship Centre.
“I take my lead from Dave’s suggestions, because he works directly with the people in this community who need public legal education on family matters,” said Christine. “For the November event, we provided the legal expertise and materials. The Parry Sound Friendship Centre provided the location, outreach and a free lunch for participants.”
“We need to build bridges – to help people understand the system so they can work with it,” adds Dave. “The more we can build relationships with LAO and other external agencies, the better.”
For instance, the first LAO-Parry Sound Friendship Centre Family Law Workshop opened with an Aboriginal smudging ceremony and closed with Aboriginal prayer and song.
Participants included staff from local community organizations such as the Healing Centre, the YMCA, a woman’s shelter and some community members, and they heard presentations about:
- Resources available in the community
- Alternatives to court
- How to prepare and file family court documents
- How to prepare for court
- How to change child support and custody/access orders
- Children’s Aid Society matters
- How criminal and family court intersect
“It was a great first event for this community, and we look forward to similar workshops in Spring 2013,” said Christine.
If you have any questions or require more information please contact: