If you are experiencing domestic abuse, please tell us when you apply because we have special services.
During the COVID-19 crisis, LAO has waived all legal and financial eligibility for people who identify as Indigenous and who are domestic violence survivors. This will be in effect until further notice.
Starting Jan. 31, 2022, we will be resuming pre-pandemic financial certificate eligibility criteria for non-Indigenous people experiencing domestic violence. However, LAO may waive the financial eligibility rules in specific circumstances.
Check the table below to see if you qualify:
|Number of family members||The amount of money your family makes in a year|
Note: We may ask you to pay for some of your fees. When you apply, we will talk to you about this more. We will also ask you about any assets you have such as any money in your bank account, investments, or property, etc.
You can use the “Find a Lawyer” tool to find a lawyer who accepts legal aid work.
LAO’s Contact Centre—Confidential Telephone Services
If you have experienced domestic violence and need help with a family law matter, please call LAO’s Contact Centre immediately:
LAO can help with family law matters such as a restraining order for an abusive ex partner, or maintaining parenting time (formerly access) with your child during the COVID‑19 emergency.
This confidential telephone line is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (EST). When you reach our Contact Centre, you may ask to speak with a LAO family lawyer for free summary legal advice and/or apply for a legal aid certificate. This service can be accessed in over 300 languages.
Two hours of free legal service
This program provides two hours of free legal advice for domestic violence survivors in Ontario who need immediate advice and assistance in relation to family law and immigration and refugee law matters. There is no financial eligibility requirement. People who are experiencing domestic violence are eligible for up to five two‑hour authorizations in a year (one per legal issue).
Please call your local shelter or community legal clinic to ask about accessing this service. They will then give you a referral voucher so that you can get two hours of free legal advice from a lawyer. Only lawyers with experience in domestic abuse issues can provide this service
- COVID-19: Legal Aid Services
- LAO – Frequently asked questions
- Law Society of Ontario emergency family law telephone line for 30 minutes of free legal advice to help determine whether a family law matter is urgent, toll free: 1-800-268-7568
- To locate a shelter: Shelter Safe
- For safety tips: Luke’s Place, Social distancing? Safety tips for women living with an abusive partner”
- Family law public legal information: Steps to Justice: COVID-19 Abuse and family violence
If you’re experiencing domestic abuse or violence, remember that your abuser can track what you’re looking at on your computer or phone, which can put you at risk. At any time, you can click on the “Leave Site Now” button at the bottom of each page on LAO’s website if…
Last updated: May 20, 2022 A blend of remote and in-person services are now available as part of Legal Aid Ontario’s transition back to providing in-person services. Visitors must screen for COVID-19 symptoms before entering a legal aid office. Instructions are posted outside…
Do you have a legal problem and live in Ontario? Steps to Justice provides practical information on common legal problems including: step-by-step information to help you work through your legal problems practical tools, such as checklists, fillable forms, and self-help guides…