Last updated: May 3, 2021
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 September 30, 2021.
For anyone who is not Indigenous but experiencing domestic violence, eligibility requirements will no longer be waived, but the financial eligibility threshold has been increased temporarily to:
|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
- 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”
- For public legal information: Steps 2 Justice: COVID‑19 Abuse and Family Violence
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