Category Archives: Family law


There are other options besides court for family matters

November 23-27 marks the first Family Dispute Resolution Week in Ontario. If you’re interested in learning more about free or subsidized support for families going through separation and divorce, please visit for more information. Anyone who’s had a legal problem they had to deal with in family court knows that it can be long, […]


Cy and Ruby’s Law: parental recognition for female same-sex partners in Ontario

In Ontario, right now, a woman who is married to a woman who gives birth is not automatically a parent if they use a known sperm donor. Kirsti Mathers McHenry has held management and policy positions at Legal Aid Ontario where, most recently, she was Director, Strategic Initiatives and Planning, Corporate Services.

Getting through a separation or divorce while staying out of court

Although many assume that most separating couples need a judge to settle things for them in family court, research published in the April 2015 edition of The Lawyers Weekly confirmed what many who practice in the field have long suspected: less than 10 per cent of family law cases actually result in trials. Sharon B. Silbert, J.D. Acc.FM (OAFM) is a lawyer and accredited family mediator practicing in St. Catharines, Ontario.


The Legal Health Check-Up project: an intermediary’s perspective

Available in paper or electronic form, the Legal Health Check-Up gives trusted intermediaries like Michael a list of questions to ask the client in the areas of income, housing, employment, education and health to identity the common legal problems of people living in poverty. Colleen Sym is the Executive Director/Lawyer at Halton Community Legal Services, a community legal clinic funded by Legal Aid Ontario..

Expanding LAO’s services: the road ahead

In my last blog, I said that Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) had met with hundreds of stakeholders to help us make informed decisions about expanding legal aid eligibility. We recently announced the road LAO plans to take, and I am pleased to say that it is a comprehensive, multi-year plan to significantly enhance access to justice for low-income Ontarians.Nye Thomas is LAO’s Director General, Policy and Strategic Research. Nye has been leading LAO’s financial eligibility project.

Expanding access to legal aid for Ontarians

We’ve come a long way since my last blog on financial eligibility, posted in March 2014, in which I noted how far Ontario was lagging behind other jurisdictions in recognizing that financial eligibility for legal aid services must be increased. Nye Thomas is LAO’s Director General, Policy and Strategic Research. Nye has been leading LAO’s financial eligibility project.