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Family law advice — Only a phone call away

TelephoneAfter only three months of service, legal aid’s new family law telephone advice line is producing positive results. The line provides “next step” advice on family law issues such as custody, access, guardianship, child support, spousal support, property division, family agreements, adoption, and court procedures.

“It saved my life,” says a recent client who called the Family LawLINE and spoke to one of the legal aid lawyers.
“[The lawyer] gave me some information, I used it and everything worked out 100 percent,” explains the client, whose identity is confidential. “Within two days, I had my issues worked out — he did a really good job.”

“Our clients seem to be extremely satisfied,” says Kenyon McGee, who has a practice based in the small Kootenay community of Winlaw and is one of six lawyers providing advice for the service. “A lot of callers are worried, frightened, and don’t know where to turn. At the end of the call, they’re calmed down and pointed in the right direction.”

Since November 2010, the Family LawLINE has received about 140 calls a month with an average wait time of only three minutes.

McGee says he experiences several scenarios that include the client who needs funds for a lawyer, the client who can move forward without a lawyer, and the client who needs counselling resources rather than legal help.

“No matter what the situation, I have resources at my fingertips to guide them in the right direction,” he says.

“Most of the callers are grateful to have someone listen to them,” says Linda Thiessen, coordinator of civil law service and projects for LSS. “They are used to getting shunted around from one place to the next with no one taking the time to actually listen to them.”

Please visit our website for more information about the Family LawLINE.

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