Before You Apply
We recommend that you take the Parenting After Separation Course before you apply to LAA to have a lawyer appointed for you. This course is required by the Court of Queen’s Bench before your court application can be filed. This is a free service, can be taken online and offers very helpful information related to family issues following separation. Access the course here.
In most cases, we expect you to attend mediation with Resolution and Court Administration Services (RCAS). If your matter is not resolved through mediation, RCAS may be available to assist you in preparing and filing your court documents for Provincial Court. When you attend your first court date, in some areas LAA Duty Counsel is available or a Family Court Counsellor to assist you in a further attempt to resolve your matter. If it is not resolved after the first court date, then you can contact LAA to apply for a lawyer.
If you want to proceed with a court application in the Court of Queen’s Bench in Edmonton or Calgary, you will need to attend Queen’s Bench Family Docket Court where the presiding justice will determine the next step for addressing your legal issues. Duty Counsel will be available to assist you. In some cases, the Court will send you to Resolution Counsel to attempt mediation before continuing the court process.
Legal Aid Alberta may provide representation for the following areas of family and civil law:
- custody, access, parenting orders, contact orders;
- child maintenance (child support);
- child protection/child welfare;
- representation of children;
- grandparent contact orders; and
- Hague Convention applications (a method to return a child internationally abducted by a parent from one member country to another).
- spousal support;
- separation and divorce; and
- matrimonial property disputes.
When you contact Legal Aid Alberta, an assessment will be completed to determine the best service option for your legal issue. If your legal issue is eligible to receive the services of a lawyer, Legal Aid Alberta may appoint one of its own expert lawyers or an external lawyer on the Legal Aid Alberta family law Roster. If your issue is not within the services covered, Legal Aid Alberta may have information or referrals that will assist in resolving your issue.
With Family law practitioners located in Calgary, Edmonton, Lethbridge, Red Deer and Wetaskiwin, Legal Aid Alberta specializes in assisting clients who have a family law legal problem.
Once a Legal Aid Alberta lawyer is appointed, clients may be offered the assistance of Justice Navigators. These individuals work as part of a legal team to provide services to clients engaged in family law related matters. Justice Navigators help clients to address personal problems by identifying options and developing strategies to cope with their issues. They also help ensure the client understands the legal process for their matter and what is expected of them. Under the direction of a client's lawyer, this may include:
- crisis intervention;
- information; and/or