The Family Law Limited Scope Services Project
The Law Foundation of Ontario recently reported that:
“A new website designed to help Ontarians with their family law needs will officially launch on February 12, at a special reception that will take place at the Law Society of Ontario.
The Family Law Limited Scope Services Project aims to improve access to family justice for middle-income Ontarians by increasing the use of limited scope retainers and legal coaching, also known as “unbundled” legal services. These services are an option between full representation and no representation at all. The Project provides access to these services through the website, which includes a searchable roster of trained lawyers who are willing and able to provide such services in communities across Ontario.
The website presents easy-to-understand, step-by-step information on limited scope services and legal coaching in family law matters for both the public and practising lawyers. In addition, it offers practical tools such as checklists, flow charts, precedent retainer agreements, as well as resources and referral information for family legal services in Ontario.
The Family Law Limited Scope Services Project is a collaborative legal project funded by The Law Foundation of Ontario with the aim of improving access to family justice for middle and lower-income Ontarians by increasing the use of limited scope retainers (such as court document drafting or in-court representation on a single appearance), legal coaching (lawyer assists client by offering advice, guidance, and support) and summary legal counsel (scheduled lawyers provide day-of-court assistance for a fee to unrepresented litigants not eligible for Legal Aid).”
Are “Unbundled” Legal Services in Family Law a Good Thing? Time Will Tell
We examined the issue of unbundled legal services in 2012.
The Ontario family law system sees more than its share of unrepresented litigants; the option to use a lawyer for unbundled services is designed to bridge the divide between those who can afford competent legal representation, and those who struggle to do so.
There remain risks that procedural and other issues that could or will arise in the context of litigation. Further, potential problems inherent in this option may still come to light, and of course, there is always the potential that disputes will arise between the client and his or her chosen lawyer, in connection with the particular scope, nature, duration, and cost of the services that were agreed to be provided.
The Family Law Limited Scope Services Project website connects clients with a lawyer and provides valuable information to litigants which is a step in the right direction for addressing our overburdened family court system.
Divorce Information Centre
Learn more about divorce and the Ontario Court Process at our divorce information centre where you find helpful tips, resources, videos, and downloadable ebooks.