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Divorce & Family Law This forum is for discussing any of the legal issues involved in your divorce.

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  #1  
Old 07-10-2020, 02:44 PM
Kinso Kinso is offline
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Default Useful Links/ Websites for Ontario Family Law

Hi all. I've decided to assemble a list of links that may be useful to users of this forum. If users find it valuable maybe an admin could sticky it.

Family Law Information

Steps to Justice Family Law
Ministry of the Attorney General
List of Courts in Ontario

Legislation

Divorce Act -
Childrens Law Reform Act
Family Law Act
Family Law Rules

Case Law


CanLii -

File for Divorce - Ontario

Filing for a Simple Divorce
Ontario

Warning: speak to a lawyer before you file for a simple divorce. This is especially true if you have children, property or an income disparity with your partner

Court Forms
Ontario Court Forms

Child and Spousal Support Calculator
My Support Calculator

Alternatives to Court

Collaborative Law Ontario Association of Collaborative Professionals
Mediation Ontario Association for Family Mediation
Mediation / Arbitration Family Dispute Resolution Institute of Ontario

Struggling to Afford a Lawyer?

Legal Aid Ontario - Free lawyers for those who qualify, but requires low income and many lawyers do not take legal aid.
Justice Net - Reduced fee lawyers for lower income persons, not free.
Limited Scope Services Project Lawyers on a limited scope basis. Pay as you go for what you need.
Osgoode Hall Law School Legal Clinic (CLASP)
Ottawa University Community Legal Clinic
Western University Legal Clinic
Windsor University Legal Aid Clinic

Law Society Referral Service
Free thirty minute consultation with an Ontario lawyer. Note a consultation isn't thirty minutes of free advice.

Enforcement of Support Orders

Family Responsibility Office
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Old 07-12-2020, 08:04 AM
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Great list - thanks! Sticky'd it.
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Old 07-12-2020, 08:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kinso View Post
Law Society Referral Service Free thirty minute consultation with an Ontario lawyer. Note a consultation isn't thirty minutes of free advice.
Could you clarify what that means? What do you get during those 30 minutes? Is it just a lawyer marketing their services?
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Old 07-12-2020, 09:11 AM
Kinso Kinso is offline
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Could you clarify what that means? What do you get during those 30 minutes? Is it just a lawyer marketing their services?
I can't speak for all lawyers, but there is a line between consultation and advice that we are often careful about in those 30 minute calls. Advice can only responsibly be given once one has a comprehensive understanding of the facts. This is not possible in a 30 minute call.

A general distinction is:

Consultation - this is the law generally as it applies to the issues you've raised
Advice - this is the law as it applies to your specific situation, and here are the steps you should take.

Another limitation is that most lawyers will not help full out forms, or review documents. This is also legal advice and there may be facts the lawyer unaware of that would change the nature of the advice. It also incurs liability which I'm not in the business of doing for free.

Most people give a 10 minute summary of their situation, and I'll respond with the law generally on the issues raised (eg. Custody is based on the best interests of the child, child support is based on income... in this case since you're self employed there are increased disclosure requirements...etc.). If there is any violence or other red flags I'll stress the need to address this quickly. I will generally give them their process options, negotiation, mediation, or litigation. Summarize the cost of legal services and how unpredictable they are, and if I'm interested in the file tell them how much the retainer would be.

Sometimes people have specific questions I can answer - such as: "If my husband was arrested for drunk driving 3 years ago, does that mean I'll win custody?" - Generally not, but a pattern is concerning. "At what age does a child get to decide where they live?" - No defined age, depends on the maturity of the child, expect full decision making authority sometime in their mid-late teens.

Somethings I can almost never answer in a consultation include - "Should I accept my wife's Offer to Settle?" "Should I bring a motion for custody, access, support?" or "Exactly what forms do I need to fill out for a divorce?" I won't generally answer the last one as telling someone to fill out certain forms will be interpreted as an advisable course of action, which it may not be.

It's not solely a marketing call, although that does occur. It's not 30 minutes of free advice, it's something in between.
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Old 08-16-2020, 06:08 PM
stevexu213123 stevexu213123 is offline
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Could you clarify what that means? What do you get during those 30 minutes? Is it just a lawyer marketing their services?
Lawyers don't give free legal advice.
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Old 01-02-2022, 04:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janus View Post
Could you clarify what that means? What do you get during those 30 minutes? Is it just a lawyer marketing their services?
In my experience it is marketing tool, and I would call it dishonest practice, since lawyers do advertise it as free 30 minutes consultation, but then they refuse to consult, at least those I spoke with.

I've spoken to some, and only used this "free 30 minutes consultation" as a way to understand if I am willing to hire that lawyer or not. Practically everyone meticulously avoids even remote possibility of advising of anything, with except of retaining their services and saying plain "you definitely need a lawyer".
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Old 01-02-2022, 04:57 PM
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In my experience it is marketing tool, and I would call it dishonest practice, since lawyers do advertise it as free 30 minutes consultation, but then they refuse to consult, at least those I spoke with.
As noted above, a consultation and advice are not the same thing. It’s likely the case that your questions are too specific for a responsible answer to be given in a consultation. Keep in mind many lawyers don’t do free consultations, and since you’re not paying anything, it’s hard to get too upset by the deal.

This is s fundamental misunderstanding of what a free consultation is.
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Old 01-02-2022, 05:52 PM
dad4kids dad4kids is offline
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Originally Posted by Kinso View Post
As noted above, a consultation and advice are not the same thing. It’s likely the case that your questions are too specific for a responsible answer to be given in a consultation. Keep in mind many lawyers don’t do free consultations, and since you’re not paying anything, it’s hard to get too upset by the deal.

This is s fundamental misunderstanding of what a free consultation is.

It is possible that legally "consultation" and "advice" are different thing, but for most people free means free. If your dentist gives a "free cleaning" in order to win your business, it is indeed free. If I was to ask if I need crown, bridge or implant, doctor would asses my situation, and won't be talking hypothetically.

I'll give you example on my situation. I called for a "free consultation" to check DivorceMate calculations produced by my Ex lawyer. The question I asked was very simple - does court accept MySupportCalculation as evidence (both employed with no side income) and if not can they run the DivorceMate on our two numbers.

Not he rocket science as you could see. I even specified what exactly I am looking for when I booked this free consultation. The result I've got first interrogated about all my personal data and case details for 30 minutes. Then the junior lawyer admitted she doesn't have access to DM and would have senior lawyer at their firm to call me.

The senior lawyer indeed called and lectured me for 15 minutes that MySupportCalculator isn't accurate and that no one to agree to do DivorceMate for free.

The result is their firm spent 45 minutes on me. Had they ran this DM calculation, they may have win my business, as I am shopping around to hire a lawyer, but I will have to look for alternative.

I do apologize if this is not how the legal world operates, but for regular people common sense is a common sense.


I'll give you another example. Long time ago my ex was not following court orders on access. I called for a free consultation. I have explained my situation and guy said while he knows the answer, he won't tell me in free consultation.
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Old 01-02-2022, 05:59 PM
Kinso Kinso is offline
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I’ve never met a dentist who offered a free cleaning (to a new patient) but maybe I’ve been looking in the wrong place!

If you said “I’m looking for someone to check some numbers for me”, I would have quickly said this is not covered by a free consultation. This is because in order to properly advise I need more information. Just like a doctor, the background to symptoms may impact the calculations. In your case, there might be grounds for imputation, or s.7s, or types of income (employment vs self-employment) where the raw calculations alone are not sufficient to answer you question.

I do think 45 minutes to tell you “sorry we can’t answer that” is a big much. That should have been told to you within 10 minutes.

That last guy sounds like a dink. A lawyer should be able to give you some broad options (bring a motion, send a letter etc.) without insisting on payment. Broad options can be offered in a consultation.
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Old 01-02-2022, 06:20 PM
dad4kids dad4kids is offline
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I’ve never met a dentist who offered a free cleaning (to a new patient) but maybe I’ve been looking in the wrong place!
lol, I actually never had free cleaning myself, but newcomers in the office (before covid) were talking a lot about getting free stuff in Canada, and dental cleaning was one of them and they couldn't understand why I didn't want to get it free.

Now to the business. I have another topic on MySupportCalculator vs DivorceMate . If we are not talking about s.7, does court accept MySupportCalculator report? And if it doesn't how do they justify access to justice to everyone, if DivorceMate is only available to lawyers i.e. I can't legally buy it.
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