Legal Aid Ontario is an Ontario government organization that provides free Legal Aid Ontario family law services to individuals that meet their eligibility and financial criteria. If the you meet Legal Aid’s eligibility criteria the you will be provided with a client number (starting with CLT) and a certificate number (starting with CE). Typically their eligibility is for those individuals that fall below a certain low annual earing threshold.
Once you are approved and has their CLT and CE numbers (this is called a “legal aid certificate”), the you may then may contact law firms like ours that provide legal aid family law services, and seek representation from a lawyer permitted to practice law in Ontario. It is important to remember that the lawyer does not make eligibility determinations. All eligibility determinations must be made through Legal Aid Ontario’s application process by calling Legal Aid Ontario at 1-800-668-8258. They are open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and can take telephone eligibility applications in over 300 languages. We suggest you call early.
Once a legal aid provides you with a legal aid certificate the certificate contains limited hours for a lawyer to provide you with representation.
You should further note that Legal Aid Ontario does not fund legal aid lawyers for divorce applications. It is not a service provided through legal aid and the issue of divorce should be a secondary one.
Legal aid funds court proceedings to obtain court orders related to
- Domestic violence;
- Custody or child decision making;
- Child parenting plans;
- Child support;
- Spousal support; and
- Some limited hours for property division issues. Once those issues are resolved through the courts by way of a court order, the issue of divorce is separate and legal aid does not in any way fund the divorce process.
If you are experiencing domestic violence and abuse, contact Legal Aid Ontario immediately for a certificate as they have a more flexible approach to the edibility criteria for individuals experiencing domestic violence.
A note that our law firm does not represent potential clients whom have a legal aid certificate and wish to apply for divorce as legal aid does not cover the divorce process.