FOLA has been invited to participate in a consultation on the costs under the Family Law Rules. If you wish to offer input to this consultation process, please contact Michael Ras, Executive Director at mike.ras @  For details on this consultation, including the Terms of Reference and consultation questions, click on the link below.  

proposed Family law reforms - expanding legal service options for families

The Attorney General and Law Society of Upper Canada have asked Justice Annemarie Bonkalo to undertake a consultation to "Expand Legal Service Options for Families". Included in this consultation is a proposal to allow paralegals and other legal service providers, such as law students or law clerks, to deal with certain family matters.  

This page is provided as a forum to engage practising lawyers across Ontario and to collect their thoughts on this important matter.

The Ministry consultation page can be accessed at this link.  The specific questions being asked by Justice Bonkalo are:

  1. What legal services are sought and provided in each type of family law case (e.g. divorce, custody and access), from beginning to end?
  2. What family legal services are currently provided by a person other than a lawyer (e.g. paralegals, law students, law clerks), whether independently or under the supervision of a lawyer?
  3. What family legal services are covered by legal aid? What family legal services are provided by duty counsel?
  4. Which legal service offerings (e.g. conducting legal research, preparing correspondence, appearing in court, etc.) could improve the family justice system if they were more widely available?
  5. If an appropriate framework is put in place, should persons other than lawyers, such as paralegals, be permitted to provide legal services in certain family law matters?
  6. If yes:
  • which types of legal services (e.g. interviewing a client, preparing certain documents)?
  • in which types of family law matters (e.g. divorce, custody and access)?
  • with what safeguards (e.g. education, training, insurance, regulation and/or oversight)

      7.  Should other people as well as lawyers provide legal aid services? What role could              these people play?

      8. Do you think there are certain types of family law cases or issues that would not be           suitable for persons other than lawyers to provide?

The initial statement of FOLA in response to the launch of the consultation is provided at this link.

Our first submission to Justice Bonkalo can be found at this link

Justice Bonkalo's report was released to the public in February of 2017. It can be found at this link


other submissions of the FOLA Family law committee 

Consultation on Costs under the family law rules

Upon receipt of the "Bonkalo Report", the Law Society undertook a consultation to solicit the views of stakeholders on the 21 recommendations made in the report.  Our response can be found in the two reports provided by our Family Law Committee and Paralegal Committee and accessed by clicking on the boxes below.  

If anyone wishes to comment further, please do not hesitate to contact us.  

Family Law Reforms