Legal Advice and Assistance

  • How do I find a lawyer?
    • Look through the Yellow Pages under "Lawyers" and call a lawyer who is listed as practicing family or divorce law. is an online version of the yellow pages.

    • Or call the Lawyer Referral Service and ask for the name of a lawyer who practices in the area of family law. The province-wide phone number for the Lawyer Referral Service is 1-800-661-1095. If you are in Calgary, the number is 403-228-1722. Lawyer Referral Service will give you the names of three lawyers who deal with this area of the law. You can make an appointment with any or all of the three lawyers. There is no charge for the first half-hour interview with one of these lawyers, after which you can decide whether you want to hire that lawyer to represent you. You should discuss fees.

  • What are unbundled legal services?
    • Often, when you hire a lawyer, the lawyer will do all of the work to complete your case, from start to finish. The fee that you pay the lawyer is either set in advance, or you will be asked to pay an hourly rate, based on the time that the lawyer spends working on your file.

      Many lawyers will now provide unbundled legal services – that is, you will represent yourself for part of your case, and the lawyer will help you with other parts. You might hire the lawyer to do one or more of the following:

      - Tell you about your legal rights and obligations;
      - Give you an opinion about what your chances are, or how the judge might decide;
      - Tell you which option is the better choice for you;
      - Complete the court forms and other necessary paperwork;
      - Do legal research to find case law to help convince the judge;
      - Tell you which court materials would be helpful to your case;
      - Help you decide which facts the judge will want to hear;
      - Negotiate with the other side;
      - Rehearse the court hearing with you;
      - Represent you in meetings or in court;
      - Go to court for you if you can't go yourself, including asking for an adjournment;
      - Prepare the Order after court;
      - Prepare any letters needed as your matter goes through court; and/or
      - Prepare any follow up documents.

    • The lawyer's fees will be based on an hourly rate and will depend on how much time is spent helping you.

  • How do I get help from Legal Aid?
    • If your income is low, Legal Aid may be able to help you in one of three ways:
      • - One of their staff can provide legal information, assistance and referrals
        - A lawyer can provide you with brief legal services
        - A lawyer can provide you with unbundled legal services or full legal services, depending upon your ability to represent yourself.

    • If you want more information, you can find the nearest Legal Aid office in the white pages of your phone book, or go to their website here
    • Legal Aid is not free, however the fees are substantially lower than those generally charged by lawyers.
  • Can Calgary Legal Guidance help me with my family law problem?
    • Calgary Legal Guidance provides free legal advice for low income people. Volunteer lawyers donate their professional time to meet with you and help resolve your problem. If they cannot offer you direct assistance, they may be able to refer you to someone who can.
    • Contact Calgary Legal Guidance by phoning 403-234-9266
  • Can Lethbridge Legal Guidance help me with my family law problem?
    • Lethbridge Legal Guidance is a nonprofit organization that offers free legal advice to people of limited means that do not qualify for Legal Aid in the Lethbridge community.
    • Contact Lethbridge Legal Guidance by phoning 403-380-6338
  • Can Central Alberta Legal Clinic help me with my family law problem?
    • The Central Alberta Community Legal Clinic (CACLC) is a free legal advice service for people who do not qualify for legal aid in the Red Deer area.
    • Contact the Central Alberta Legal Clinic by phoning 403-314-9129
  • Can Grande Prairie Legal Guidance help me with my family law problem?
    • Grande Prairie Legal Guidance (GPLG) offers free legal guidance to low income people in the Grande Prairie community who have a legal concern and do not qualify for Legal Aid. Volunteer lawyers from the Grande Prairie community donate their professional time to meet with clients and provide legal guidance and information.
    • Contact Grande Prairie Legal Guidance by phoning 780-882-0036
  • What is Children's Legal and Educational Resource Centre?
    • The Children's Legal & Educational Resource Center (CLERC) is a nonprofit organization in Calgary that provides children, youth and their families with legal education, legal information, and legal representation.
    • Contact the Children's Legal and Educational Resource Centre by phoning 403-207-9029
  • Can Student Legal Services help me with my family law problem?
    • The law students at the University of Alberta in Edmonton provide general legal information by telephone, and run clinics in which they help fill in the forms necessary to file for divorce.
    • Contact Student Legal Services by phoning 780-492-8244
  • Can Native Counselling Services of Alberta help me with my family law problem?
    • Native Counselling's Family Courtworker program helps Aboriginal families involved with Children's Services. They also offer other support and educational services. More information is offered here:
  • What do Paralegals do?
    • Paralegals are non-lawyers who can help complete court forms, and, in some cases, can help you in court. They cannot provide you with legal advice and cannot help with complicated court forms.
    • To find a paralegal, look in the yellow pages under "Paralegals".

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Rules of Court

Alberta Rules of Court