Whether or not you have a lawyer, we strongly encourage you to work with a women’s legal advocate throughout your case. This advocate can assist you by:
- Explaining the steps in the case
- Helping you identify the legal issues you want/need to address
- Supporting you to develop a safety plan
- Helping you gather evidence for your case – about the abuse in your relationship as well as the history of parenting in your family
- Accompanying you to meetings with your lawyer as well as to court
- Debriefing with you after these meetings and court appearances
If you are not already working with a women’s legal advocate, you may be able to find one:
- In Ontario, Family Court Support Workers are professionals, usually working in violence against women agencies, who have received specialized training to support victims of domestic violence throughout their family law case.
- Many women’s shelters have counsellors or Transitional Housing Support Workers (in Ontario) who assist women, whether or not they are residents of the shelter, in family court. Find a national listing of women’s shelters at ShelterSafe.org.
- Some community agencies have counselling staff who assist clients involved with a family court case.