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Family Law: Legal Help

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If you cannot afford a lawyer

Legal Aid Ontario

Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) offers free legal help on certain family law issues to people with low incomes. This includes:

  • Legal aid certificates
    You can apply for a legal aid certificate to get LAO to pay a lawyer to represent you in court for a certain number of hours. And you can use LAO's online tool to find a lawyer who accepts certificates. Visit
  • Lawyers at family courts
    Talk to duty counsel for help on the day of your court hearing. They may be able to give legal advice, explain the court process, or help you work out a settlement. They cannot represent you at trial.

    Talk to advice counsel for general information. If your income is low enough, they may be able to give you free legal advice.

  • Metro Toronto Family Law Services
    There are 8 locations where you can talk to a lawyer, get information about other legal aid services, and, in some cases, prepare court documents. Call 416-696-2992.
  • Family Law Service Centres
    There are 8 centres in Ontario with staff lawyers and legal workers who can help prepare court documents, provide referral information, and help with applications for a legal aid certificate.
  • Family Law Offices
    There are 3 offices located in Kenora, Ottawa, and Thunder Bay with lawyers and paralegals who help with family court cases and accept legal aid certificates.
  • Law school clinics
    Each law school in Ontario has a legal aid clinic staffed by law students who are supervised by lawyers. These clinics are located in Kingston, London, Ottawa, Thunder Bay, Toronto, and Windsor.

For more information about these services, visit or call 416-979-1446, 1-800-668-8258, or the Bell Relay Service at 1-800-855-0511.

Pro Bono Students Canada – Family Justice Centre

The Family Justice Centre is staffed by law students who are supervised by family law lawyers. People with low incomes who do not have a lawyer can get summary legal advice and help with court forms. Visit or call 647-952-3354.