Family law clients in Toronto, Richmond Hill, Markham and Vaughan, where housing costs tend to be high, often find themselves in a predicament - they have too much to qualify for legal aid, but not enough to retain a lawyer for court. As a result, courts are seeing an increase in people who are acting as their own lawyers.
While this may seem to cost less, not having a lawyer can mean that important legal concept are not understood, that court documents are missing important points or that it quickly becomes difficult to navigate the process. In the worst case scenarios, the case can be lost and someone may even need to pay the court costs of the other side.
Unbundled legal services address these needs. Clients pay only for the time spent by the lawyer during the course of a meeting, so there are no surprises and the client can manage their legal expenses. During a meeting, a client may want to find out about their legal rights in a situation and map out a legal strategy. Another meeting may be used to prepare a brief for mediation, or to draft an Application or conference brief for court. Meetings can be used to calculate child and spousal support according to guidelines, especially when there is a change in circumstances. You can even get legal coaching to prepare you for an upcoming court date.
With a traditional legal retainer, all communication goes through the lawyer, so time is spent reviewing and forwarding all items. Traditional retainers also mean that the legal is paid for attending court - even though there can be hours of waiting time. With unbundled services, the focus is on using those legal services that offer the greatest value in situations where your funds are limited.