|Back to Home||Legalese - May 10, 2012|
Where Can I Find More Information about Family Law Online?
[For more than 2 decades Rural Legal Services (RLS) has written Legalese, a legal information column kindly published by the Frontenac News. It has recently been recognized by our colleagues in the Legal Advocacy Regional Network (LEARN) of which our clinic is a member, as a means to achieve its goal of improving access to justice and legal information to people who live in small urban and rural and remote areas of Eastern Ontario. Following our lead, LEARN is proposing to write a monthly legal information newspaper column under the banner LEARN LAW for publication in newspapers across the 5 county region of Frontenac, Lennox & Addington, Hastings, Prince Edward and Northumberland. LEARN column writers include local lawyers, the staff of community legal clinics such as RLS and representatives of Legal Aid Ontario.
Rural Legal Services will continue to write its own Legalese column but will provide the monthly LEARN LAW columns as they become available.]
If you are struggling with a breakdown in your relationship with your spouse, you may be confused about your legal rights and obligations or frustrated about the way our legal system works. There are a number of reliable and easy to understand online resources available to help you. You should be very careful when you read legal information on the internet. You must make sure the information is correct, up-to-date, and applicable to your jurisdiction (i.e. to make sure that you are looking at information that applies to Ontario). Legal information online is not a substitute for legal advice. You should consult a lawyer if you have a legal problem.
The following is a list of some of the available online resources:
Legal Aid Ontario’s (LAO’s) website has an interactive learning application called the “Family Law Information Program” (http://www.legalaid.on.ca/en/getting/flip.asp), which provides a lot of information and explains the family law process from start to finish.
Community legal clinics in Ontario do not practice family law, but the Community Advocacy & Legal Centre’s website has a section dedicated to the topic at http://www.communitylegalcentre.ca/referrals/Family_Law.htm. Lawyers at Rural Legal Services also provide legal information and referrals in family law matters.
Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO) has developed resources that are designed to take the mystery out of this system and help you understand what needs to be done to ensure that your rights are upheld. You can find this information online at www.yourlegalrights.on.ca. CLEO’s information is also available in pamphlets that can be picked up at your local community legal clinic.
Another excellent online resource is Family Law Education for Women (FLEW), which is available at www.onefamilylaw.ca. Here you will find legal information available in 14 languages, including American Sign Language. This website also allows you to listen to the information through your speakers or headphones.
The National Association of Women and the Law has also produced a guide for women about money, relationships and the law in Ontario at www.nawl.ca/money. You are encouraged to plan ahead, talk to your partner and know your rights!
Ontario’s Ministry of the Attorney General has extensive information about family law on its website at (http://www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca/english/family/). This website can help you if you are wondering what to expect when you have to go to court. It also has a section with links to websites and books for children, which can help them understand what is happening.
If you are looking for Family Court forms, you can find them here: http://www.ontariocourtforms.on.ca/english/. This website also has a “Forms Assistant” that will guide you through filling out the most common court forms.
If you are wondering about monthly payments for child support, you can check out the Department of Justice’s “Child Support Online Lookup” tool at http://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/pi/fcy-fea/lib-bib/tool-util/apps/look-rech/index.asp.
This column is not intended to provide legal advice; it is just general legal information provided by volunteer local lawyers and the staff of community legal clinics and Legal Aid Ontario. The law can change. You must contact a lawyer to determine your legal rights and obligations. If you are living on a low income, you may be eligible for free legal help from Legal Aid Ontario (criminal, family or immigration) or your local community legal clinic (income security programs, employment law, tenants’ rights, or human rights). You can reach Legal Aid Ontario at 1-800-668-8258 or visit them online at www.legalaid.on.ca. Contact Rural Legal Services (613) 279-3252 or toll free 1-888-777-8916 for more information.