Family legal issues
Check the table below to see if you qualify:
|Number of family members||The amount of money your family earns in a year||For domestic abuse|
We might be able to help if you qualify and if:
- you need to decide decision-making responsibility (formerly custody), support, or parenting time/contact (formerly access)
- Children’s Aid has your children or contacted you
If you are not sure if you qualify, please call our contact centre:
If you qualify for assistance from LAO, you will receive a certificate to work with a lawyer; the lawyer you choose must be on the list of those who accept legal aid work.
To find a lawyer in your area who does legal aid work in the type of law that you need help with, you can use our Find a Lawyer tool. To use the tool, you must have a certificate. If you do not have a certificate, you must first apply for legal aid.
- You can use filters to choose the type of legal help you are looking for and the language you prefer to speak.
- If you enter your postal code, you can see which lawyers work closest to you.
- You will be given the lawyers’ address and phone number, so you can contact them directly.
Settling problems outside of court
You do not have to go to court to decide every legal issue. If you and your former partner want to work together, you can mediate.
We have mediators in Milton, Ottawa, Brampton, Peel and Newmarket that can help you if you qualify. If you do not qualify, we can refer you to other mediators who are either free or charge you depending on what you’re able to pay.
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Mediation: Is mediation right for you? (infographic)
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Mediation versus family court (infographic)
If you do not qualify for a lawyer we may still be able to help
You can get help from the Family Law Information Centre at your courthouse if you qualify financially. The legal aid lawyer (called advice lawyers) can give you up to 20 minutes of free general advice if you qualify financially. The advice lawyer may also be able to give you a referral to a family law service centre. If there is no advice lawyer available, you will find various brochures and fact sheets to help guide you.
In addition, LAO offers a Summary Legal Advice service over the telephone. If you call our Client and Lawyer Service Center at 1-800-668-8258 and qualify financially, your information will be taken by an agent and an LAO staff member will call you back within 48 hours to provide legal information and advice.
Check the table below to see if you qualify for advice lawyer services.
|Number of family members||How much money does your family earn in a year?|
Family law information program
Did a judge tell you to take a course about family law because you are separating or getting a divorce?
Contact your local family mediation and information services centre for more information about participating in a Mandatory Information Program.