How to hire a family lawyer on a budget in Ontario

Updated: May 23



Other than legal aid and divorce financing, there is a third creative option that helps people in Ontario access family lawyers on a limited budget. It's called Limited Scope Retainers.


Click here to order a limited scope retainer.


Here's the thing. When most people get a family lawyer in Ontario, it often involves paying that lawyer a large amount of money to handle everything in your case. However, if you get a family lawyer on the basis of a limited scope retainer, it means that the lawyer will only perform a specific task or perform just a part of your case. You'll be responsible for handling parts of your case that the lawyer was not specifically hired to take care of, but that can save you a lot of money in a family law case.


There are a lot of services that can be provided to clients using a limited scope retainer in a family law case. See below for a list of specific tasks you can hire your lawyer to do, where you can choose all or just some:

  • give an opinion about a legal problem or how it can potentially be resolved;

  • do research about a legal problem;

  • prepare court documents;

  • go to court with the client for a particular step in a case, such as at a case conference or a motion;

  • attend with a client at mediation;

  • give an opinion regarding a draft agreement; or

  • do research about a particular stage of the case.

Another type of limited scope family law service involves a lawyer taking responsibility for one or more issues, such as equalization of property, while leaving other issues to the client.