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Legal Services

Programs that provide assistance in the form of advocacy, arbitration, class action litigation, legal counselling, legal representation, mediation, paralegal counselling, self-representation assistance and/or court watching which focus on a particular area of law.

Domestic/Family Violence Legal Services

Programs that provide information and guidance and/or representation in court proceedings for individuals who have been abused in an intimate relationship and/or for people who are facing a misdemeanour or criminal charge for perpetrating abuse. Included are domestic violence law clinics and other legal assistance programs that represent victims of domestic abuse at restraining order hearings or in other civil or criminal actions involving charges against an abuser. Most also represent the person's interests in complexities that arise as part of the legal process such as restitution, payment of debts or child support, custody and visitation and property control. Some programs may also represent victims of domestic abuse who have been charged with a crime and/or handle cases involving accusations of child abuse filed by one parent against the other, abuse of an elderly person by an adult child or abuse of an adult child by a parent.

Comprehensive Family Law Services

Programs that provide information and advice, help with documents, legal counselling and/or representation and other forms of legal assistance which deal broadly with family law issues such as divorce and separation, child custody and access, and support payments rather than specializing in a particular issue that concerns relationships and rights within families.

Child Custody/Visitation Assistance

Programs that provide assistance for people who want to obtain custody of their children as a part of a divorce or separation action, who want to appeal all or a portion of the terms of a previous child custody decision, or in the case of a noncustodial parent, who want to establish or appeal the terms of a visitation award or a court-ordered visitation schedule. Included are programs that provide child custody/visitation assistance for people who are not legally married but have children together.

Neighbourhood Dispute Resolution Services

Mediation centres in local neighbourhoods that help to resolve problems between residents that relate to issues such as noise, the behaviour of pets and children, visual eyesores (e.g., trash, unkempt lawns, offensive signs) and property boundary disputes. When disputes between neighbours over nuisance-related items can be resolved through alternative methods such as mediation, the local government does not have to become involved with a formal complaint investigation and remediation process.

Divorce Assistance

Programs that provide assistance for people who are initiating or responding to a suit for an annulment of their marriage, which establishes that a marital status never existed; a legal separation, which suspends the marriage so far as concerns the cohabitation of the two parties; or a divorce, which totally dissolves the marriage relationship. These programs may also discuss and represent the individual's interests regarding distribution of property assets and parenting issues regarding any children.

Legal Assistance Referral Services

Programs that maintain lists of lawyers, paralegals, mediators and other legal professionals and services, and link people who need legal assistance with those who specialize in the required area of law.

Certificates/Forms Assistance

Programs that help people obtain, complete and/or file official forms, certificates, documents, applications or other paperwork that is required to apply for benefits or services, initiate or respond to legal action or to officially handle or document the occurrence of a transaction; that help people acquire copies of official documents on file elsewhere; or that review legal documentation an individual has received to help explain its meaning.