1. Talk to a lawyer

You can talk to a lawyer who can give you some legal information and advice about how to safely leave your home with your children. Your lawyer can help explain your options to keep your partner away from you after you leave.

If you can’t afford to hire a lawyer for everything, some lawyers provide “unbundled services” or “limited scope retainer” services. This means you pay them to help you with only certain things, like getting a or drafting a court document.

If you can’t afford to hire a lawyer at all, you might be able to find legal help in other places. You can also find emotional, safety planning, and housing help when leaving an abusive relationship.

If you have experienced and need immediate legal help, you may be able to get a family violence authorization form. This form gives you a free 2-hour consultation with a lawyer. The forms are offered through some women’s shelters, community legal clinics, Family Law Service Centres, or by calling Legal Aid Ontario toll-free at 1-800-668-8258.

If you have experienced sexual abuse and live in Toronto, Ottawa, or Thunder Bay, you might be able to get 4 hours of free advice from a lawyer. You have to complete a voucher request form. Or you can call the Independent Legal Advice for Sexual Assault Survivors Pilot Program at 1-855-226-3904 to find out more.

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