Need to do a divorce on a budget? Ontario families and single parents who struggle to afford legal services have some relief from a new provincial pilot project.
That’s important because, following April’s provincial budget, families who relied on legal aid will be glad to know our door is open.
Unbundling Makes Justice More Affordable
First the good news. The March 2019 pilot offers “unbundled” legal services. That means families and parents pay for only the services they need.
If you are self-represented or can’t afford much in the way of legal fees, the Family Law Limited Scope Services Project gives you more options.
You can go online to www.familylawlss.ca to find out about limited scope retainers. And one day a week, Barrie residents have access to two lawyers they can hire right onsite at the courthouse to help them the day of their hearing.
Divorce On A Budget
The Ontario pilot is partly funded with a $250,000 grant from The Law Foundation of Ontario Access to Justice Fund.
It arises from a 2013 report, Meaningful Change for Family Justice: Beyond Wise Words, by a civil and family justice action committee and the 2016 Family Legal Services Review from the Superior Court of Justice.
The project is part of an ongoing effort by Ontario family lawyers to ensure parents and children have justice, regardless of how much money they have.
The project is unprecedented, The Law Society of Ontario (LSO) says. Its goal is to overcome hurdles by making legal services more available.
Law Foundation of Ontario chair Linda Rothstein agrees on how important family justice is. “For many Ontarians, it (a family law dispute) may be their only direct contact with the justice system and it occurs at a moment of crisis for them, the kind of crisis that many of us can identify with,” she told guests at the pilot’s 2019 launch.
Divorce On A Budget- Lawyers Unbundled Legal Services
At ClearWay Law, unbundling is becoming more popular as parents try to find ways to keep their costs down without losing out on needed legal advice.
Going to court can be upsetting, time-consuming and expensive. In over half of family law cases, at least one party goes to court without a lawyer. While it may have looked easy on CBS Bull, most people are no “Diana Lindsay”.
ClearWay Law helps clients who want unbundled services with legal coaching or advice to usher their family law case through court more easily.
The family law lawyers work with you on how to organize your case and present it in court yourself. We charge for only the services you use.
Or, if it makes sense for your family, we highly recommend alternative dispute resolution (ADR). Our ADR practitioners will try to help you find solutions without going to court.
Lawyers Can Help With:
- drafting court documents
- advice on legal issues
- brief court appearances on your behalf
- attending a mediation session with you
- giving you a second opinion on a proposed settlement, or
- drafting agreements
- paying for a consultation only
As every case is individual, email or phone ClearWay Law for a consultation on how we can assist you.
Unlike traditional legal services, you remain in charge and are responsible for your own case. Provided you are comfortable with that, limited scope legal services may be for you.
Helping Parents Get Justice
While we are on the subject, ClearWay Law congratulates the advisory committee for the Family Law Limited Scope Services Project. Many thanks to our associates at:
- Ontario Bar Association, family law section
- The Federation of Ontario Law Associations
- The Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, Ontario Chapter
- The Advocates’ Society
- The Family Lawyers Association
- The Superior Court of Justice and Ontario Court of Justice, and
- all of the participants and researchers.
What ClearWay Law can do to help
Divorce on a budget? When you don’t qualify for legal aid because your income is higher than the limits or LAO’s reduced services are impacting you, unbundled legal services or legal coaching can be an answer.
Author: Linda Mueller