Legal fees continue to be more and more expensive and many people who need help with their separation simply can’t afford to hire a lawyer.
The Law Society of BC is currently looking into ways to address this issue. One of the ideas being explored is to allow paralegals to represent litigants in straight forward court matters.
Spouses can also apply for a legal aid lawyer to be appointed to represent them but very limited services are provided and the threshold income to qualify is very low.
One program that is now in place is that when a spouse files an application in Provincial Court the first step in the process is to appear before a judge in what is called Remand Court. When the spouse attends at the courthouse they are assisted by a lawyer who is appointed that day to act as Duty Counsel. This lawyer will discuss your case with you and will stand beside you when addressing the judge. They are extremely helpful and provide excellent advice which helps spouses navigate the court system. Also Provincial Court judges are very used to dealing with self-represented spouses and they do as much as they can to ensure a fair determination of the cases that come before them.
Deborah A. Todd