Look through the Yellow Pages under "Lawyers" and call a lawyer who is listed as practicing family or divorce law. www.canada411.ca 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.
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.
- 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.
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