Family LawLINE: Helping BC families with their legal problems
The Legal Services Society’s Family LawLINE is a telephone service that assists people with their family law matters, including many who are located in rural and remote areas. Lawyers work from their own offices, using the phone to provide free legal coaching and “next step” legal advice to eligible people across British Columbia. Clients can schedule a number of follow-up phone appointments and share documents by fax or email.
Clients come to the Family LawLINE with a wide variety of family legal issues. There is no “typical client”. One client may have recently separated and is seeking initial legal advice and assistance to move forward. Another may be involved in a court process or is seeking assistance to change existing agreements or orders. By using LawLINE, a client has the opportunity to work with a family lawyer to identify goals and desired outcomes, and to develop a step-by-step plan of action.
WHAT SPECIFIC SERVICES DOES FAMILY LawLINE PROVIDE?
Family LawLINE helps people who are representing themselves through all stages of court and collaborative process by providing:
- Interpreters, if clients need services in languages other than English
- Information and advice on court processes, both Provincial and Supreme Court
- Information and advice on options for resolving legal issues out of court
- Referrals to other services, including online resources and other public agencies
- Assistance with preparing documents for court
- Coaching to help clients:
- understand the law relevant to their particular case,
- make more effective court appearances,
- present evidence properly,
- prepare for negotiation and settlement,
- use Public Legal Education and Information tools, and
- identify their goals and how to achieve them effectively.
HOW DOES SOMEONE GET THESE SERVICES?
To qualify for the Family LawLINE service, a person must:
- Qualify financially;
- have an eligible family law issue; and
- not have a lawyer already working for them.
To find out about eligibility and access the Family LawLINE:
Call the Legal Services Society’s provincial call centre at 604-408-2172 (for Greater Vancouver) or toll free at 1-866-577-2525, Monday to Friday from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm and Wednesdays until 2:30.