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Family Court Support Program

From Luke's Place (below):

Luke’s Place Support and Resource Centre wants everyone supporting women fleeing abuse to have up-to-date information about what family law services and supports are available across Ontario at this time.

• Filing counters remain open with reduced hours (10 a.m. – 12 noon and 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.), but this could change at any time
• Documents for urgent matters only can be filed electronically: https://www.ontario.ca/page/file-divorce-application-online 
• Duty counsel services are being provided by Legal Aid Ontario. How this is being done will vary from one court jurisdiction to another. For more information: https://www.legalaid.on.ca/news/covid-19-update-on-our-client-services/ 
• Urgent matters that will be heard by the court include: custody, access, child protection, failure to return children, restraining orders, exclusive possession of the matrimonial home and, especially when the financial situation may preclude a woman from being able to get to a safe place, and access support

Accessing family law advice and assistance

Virtual Legal Clinic

Luke’s Place is opening its Virtual Legal Clinic (VLC) to women using any VAW service in any part of Ontario in order to increase access to family law support for women fleeing abuse. The VLC connects a woman with a family law lawyer via a web-based video conferencing program, for a summary legal advice consultation.

VSLG is a partner organization and referrals can be done via our FCSW Jordyn: jordyn@vslg.ca Referrals can also be done directly via email at: admin@lukesplace.ca 

We have modified our protocols for using the VLC so that women can access a consultation whether or not they are in a shelter. Appointment requests must come through a VAW/woman-serving organization.

To learn more about the VLC, see information on our website at: https://lukesplace.ca/for-women/lukes-place-virtual-legal-clinic/
If you would like your clients to be able to access the VLC, please contact us at:
kathryn@lukesplace.ca and/or 905-728-0978 ext. 230.


Other special legal services

LAO’s Client Lawyer Service Centre can be reached at 1-800-668-8257, for summary legal advice about a family law issue.

The Law Society of Ontario has opened a new help line for people requiring urgent legal assistance: 1-800-268-7568 or 416-947-3310

Contact our Family Court Support Worker for more assistance - jordyn@vslg.ca  /1-800-939-7682

Apply for Legal Aid online by clicking 'Apply Now' on the main page https://www.legalaid.on.ca/ or calling 1-800-668-8258


General Information the Family Court Support Program

The overall objective of the Family Court Support program is to provide support for both male and female victims of domestic violence who are involved in or considering becoming involved in the family court process.  Goals also include safety planning and related activities to enhance victim safety by reducing the risk of future violence and to increase a victim’s access to services and supports.  Information and resources may be shared in person, over the phone and/or resources distributed via regular or electronic mail.

Some of these goals are achieved through the following activities;

  • assisting clients to record the history of abuse for court documents.  The worker will also provide information in regards to family court documents, ensuring the client understands the purpose and goal of all documents and how to fill them out properly and in a timely manner whenever possible.
  • debriefing and discussing court outcomes, lawyer appointments, Family Law Information Clinic meetings, consultations with duty counsel and assist with the required next steps as dictated by these meetings.
  • accompaniment to court proceedings and / or lawyer appointments and case conferences where appropriate and / or assist with obtaining the required transportation in order to attend these meetings.
  • communication with criminal court based services, such as VWAP, where appropriate and in accordance with agency protocols.
  • communication with other family court based services and referral sources to promote the seamless delivery of information and support where appropriate in accordance with agency protocols.

View Family Court Support Resources