Tips about getting legal help

For some family law problems, you'll need legal advice from a lawyer. A lawyer can:

  • listen to your story,
  • explain the law, and
  • tell you what your options are.

Some lawyers now offer unbundled legal services, which means you can pay them to help you with part of your family law problem, and you handle the rest of your case yourself. See Unbundled legal services for more about this.

For example, you might ask a lawyer to advise you about how successful you might be at arguing undue hardship in response to an application to increase support payments.

To help you with this, the lawyer would need to know about:

  • your financial situation
  • if you're helping to look after other family members
  • your work history
  • any unusual expenses you've taken on to support your previous family

Or you might ask them to look over your court forms and tell you if there's anything you might change or add to make your application more effective.

Here a few other ways to get legal advice:

  • Speak to a Family LawLINE lawyer. Legal Aid provides Family LawLINE lawyers for free. They can give you free legal advice and help by phone. Call Legal Aid at 604-408-2172 (Greater Vancouver) or 1-866-577-2525 (elsewhere in BC). Ask to speak to a Family LawLINE lawyer.
  • Speak to a family duty counsel lawyer.
  • If you’re near Nanaimo, Surrey, Vancouver, Victoria, or Abbotsford, talk to someone at your nearest Justice Access Centre. If you're not near these cities, talk to someone at your nearest Family Justice Centre.
  • Call the Lawyer Referral Service. All British Columbians of any income can have a 15 minute appointment with a lawyer. This meeting is free. If you decide you want to hire that lawyer, remember to ask how much you can expect to pay. Call 604-687-3221 (Greater Vancouver) or 1-800-663-1919 (elsewhere in BC) between 8:30am and 5pm, Monday to Friday, or send an email.

Or you might be able to get the name of a lawyer who specializes in family law problems from a community agency (such as a women's centre) or a community advocate.

Or use one of the other resources listed on Who to call or Where to go to find a lawyer you can speak with.

Whatever service you use, you'll make better use of your time if you’re well organized. See Working well with a lawyer for some tips about this.
Updated on 11 October 2023