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To find out more about how duty counsel can help your family law case, read:
Duty counsel lawyers for family law matters
Duty counsel are lawyers paid by the Legal Services Society to help people with lower incomes with their family law problems.
If you have a family law issue, you may qualify for help from family duty counsel in Provincial Court or Supreme Court, even if you do not qualify for a legal aid lawyer.
In Provincial Court
Provincial Court duty counsel can help you with family law matters, including child protection issues (if the Ministry of Children and Family Development becomes involved with your family).
Duty counsel can:
- give you advice,
- speak on your behalf in court on simple matters, and
- attend family case conferences at some courts.
However, duty counsel will not:
- take on your whole case, and
- represent you at a trial.
Duty counsel may be able to help you even if you are not financially eligible. However, priority is given to financially eligible people. See Do I qualify for legal advice?
Duty counsel are available by appointment or on a walk-in basis in:
- New Westminster,
- Port Coquitlam,
- Surrey, and
- Vancouver (although appointments are encouraged).
At other locations, duty counsel services are on a drop-in basis. See How to find Provincial Court family duty counsel.
In Supreme Court
If you are a person with a low income experiencing separation or divorce, you may be eligible for up to three hours of free legal advice from Supreme Court family duty counsel.
Duty counsel are lawyers who can provide advice about:
- parenting time or contact/access,
- child support,
- property (limited advice),
- tentative settlement agreements, and
- court procedures.
Duty counsel can also:
- assist you in Chambers (a courtroom where applications, but not trials, are heard) if the matter is simple, unopposed, or by consent.
- attend judicial case conferences at some courts.
Duty counsel may be able to help you even if you are not financially eligible. See Do I qualify for legal advice?
Duty counsel are available by appointment or on a walk-in basis in Vancouver. At other locations, duty counsel services are on a drop-in basis. See How to find Supreme Court family duty counsel.