The Cost of Difference

Our goal at AGSLAW is to significantly increase your access to professional legal services in the areas of Family Law in Barrie. While there are many law firms available, we are proud to say AGSLAW is truly unique. Like many law firms you will come across, AGSLAW offers Family Law services provided by professional lawyers and supported by a wonderful staff. However, the difference with AGSLAW is that we are a client-focused law firm. This also has to do with affordability; many who seek Family Law assistance opt for a law firm that is within their budget — keeping them from receiving the attentive legal help they need and deserve. The question of cost is another reason you will see many litigants in family court “go it alone” without the assistance of a lawyer. We have intentionally set up our firm in a unique and innovative way to make it affordable for clients to receive advice, representation, support, and the help they need.

We are affordable, reasonable, and flexible. That is the AGSLAW difference. We have created several client options to achieve the goal of providing informative and professional (yet affordable) consultations. Please review the following links to consider which consultation or legal service best suits your needs:

Standard-Track Consultation
A standard-track consult gives you the benefit of speaking with one of our experienced lawyers for up to one hour. It is typically suited for people who have more than two issues they need to extensively discuss with a lawyer, including documents to review, and/or an ongoing case at family court, or via out-of-court negotiations.

Cost: $120.00 plus HST

Fast-Track Consultation
The fast-track consult gives you the benefit of consulting with one of our experienced lawyers for 20 minutes. It is typically suitable for people who have brief questions and are looking for some general guidance. This option is not beneficial for clients who review extensive documentation reviews or advice on several topics.

Cost: $50.00 plus HST

Fast-Track or Standard Track: Find Which Type is Right for You
Here are some typical examples of questions you may have, and which consult normally suits best:

Standard-Track Consultation — a standard-track consultation is ideal in the following situations:

  • You are considering separating from your spouse or common law partner and wish to know what your rights and obligations are under the province’s Family Laws; you wish to know “where you stand.”
  • You wish to understand what the difference is between going through court and negotiating an out-of-court separation agreement. And, you also wish to discuss which may be the best options for your specific situation.
  • You have just been served with court papers and you are worried. You wish to know what the papers mean, what steps you should take now, and which route is the best for you.
  • Your spouse or common-law partner has gone to see a lawyer and has given you a written settlement proposal. You are wondering how to respond, what you should agree to (and not to agree to) and what would be the short- and long=term legal consequences of your decisions. 
  • You feel that your child is in danger and wondering if there is a way to secure an urgent court order for custody, as well as the legalities involved and the process of an urgent custody court order. 
  • You are being denied access to your child. The police will not assist you because you do not have a court order for access with your child, and you need urgent legal help.
  • You feel that your child will be in great danger if the other parent has access and you are wondering how you can protect your child.
  • The Family Responsibility Office (FRO) has sent you a letter stating that they will suspend your driver’s licence if you do not pay for child support in arrears. But, you need your licence to work.
  • The Children's Aid Society has taken your child away and has initiated court proceedings against you. You need to understand what's going on, how to possibly get your child back, and how to make sure you continue to see your child during the proceedings.
  • You are going through a volatile separation and your spouse is saying you will not get anything from the house because it's not in your name. They are also saying they will not pay you any support. You are extremely worried as to how you and your kids will survive financially.
  • You and your partner are not married and your relationship is at an end. He or she is telling you that you do not deserve anything because “nothing is in your name” from them financially even though you lived in the same house and maybe you even worked together in your partner's business. You are very concerned about your future financial wellbeing and feel this is unfair.

Fast-Track Consultation — a fast-track consultation may be the best choice for you if you agree with the following statements:

  • You have a question about changing an existing order.
  • You are unclear about a part of your existing court order and need clarification. 
  • You have procedural questions about the family court process. 
  • You wish to know your rights and obligations (in brief), with regards to one or two Family Law matters.

Sliding-Scale Fee Structure (SSFS)
A sliding-scale fee structure is for people with different abilities to afford legal services (as their household income and circumstances differ). We believe all people should have the opportunity to access professional legal services, in full or in part. Unlike the legal services packages (LSP) option, this option is usually suitable for suitable clients who wish to retain a lawyer to represent them throughout their case. Your individual hourly rate will be calculated during your initial consultation.

Legal Services Packages (LSP)
It is a fact that nearly all litigants in family court today cannot afford legal advice, representation, and assistance with document preparation. This is usually due to the disparity between household incomes and the cost of services offered by most law firms. We are confident that with our initiatives you will be able to gain the benefit of professional legal assistance in at an exceptionally reasonable and affordable cost.

The cost of a package will typically run between $500.00 and $1200.00 (plus HST and disbursements). To help you choose a package, your lawyer will advise you which package best suits your needs (and its costs) during your consultation.

The following à la carte legal service packages may be combined as needed:

  • Application package
    • Suitable for those who wish to obtain for the first time a court order to deal with issues such as custody and/or access to children, child support, spousal support, and division of property.
    • Depending on the circumstances, this package typically includes an application form, an affidavit in support of custody, and access claim and financial statement forms.
  • Answer package
    • The answer package is suitable for those who need to answer a served application. 
    • Depending on the circumstances, this package typically includes an answer form, an affidavit in support of custody, as well as forms for an access claim and financial statement.
  • Motion to change package
    • Suitable for those who wish the court to make changes to an existing final court order.
    • Depending on the circumstances, this package typically includes a motion to change form, change of information form, an affidavit in support of custody and access claims, as well as an affidavit form and financial statement form.
  • Motion package
    • Suitable for those who wish to apply to the court for a temporary court order on such issues such as custody and/or access to children, child support, spousal support, and division of property.
    • Depending on the circumstances, this package will normally include a notice of motion form, an affidavit form and a financial statement form. 
    • Please note: The cost of this package will and vary according to the number of affidavits required and length of each.
  • Family Responsibility Office package
    • Suitable for those are facing enforcement proceedings by the FRO, such as proceedings to have your driver’s licence suspended.
    • Depending on what is being sought by the FRO the package will include the required forms to answer the proceedings. It may be combined with the motion to change package (at an additional cost) should you need to change the existing support order. 
  • Individual form preparation
    • You may find yourself needing assistance with an individual form such as a financial statement, reply, conference brief, an affidavit, or any other family court forms. 
  • Court conference briefs
    • Briefs are required forms within the Family Law rules whether you're attending a case conference settlement conference for trial management conference at court. The purpose of the brief is to summarize for the judge in the most effective way what the issues are in your case and the facts of the case. Without an effective brief, a judge is not going to understand the nature of your issue in family court and is going to have a hard time helping you. Our experienced lawyers will ensure that a brief is drafted on your behalf, such that you would get the most out of your day in court and make it clear to the judge what your position is and the general nature of the case. 
    • Please note: If you do not serve a brief prior to your court date, you may not be heard in court and the court date may not go ahead, which could open you up to an order of cost payable to the opposing side, as it is extremely important that this document be done properly and on time.
  • Court attendance package
    • You may choose to retain one of our experienced lawyers to represent you on a certain court date.
    • Please note: the cost of this package will depend on the extent of the preparation required by the lawyer for the court date, as well as whether you require us to prepare any additional documents on your behalf before the court date.

Additional Support Services

The following services are offered individually or in addition to any of the legal services offered by AGSLAW. The cost of these services shall be provided to you at your consultation. As always, we offer these services to you at the most reasonable cost possible:

  • Correspondence(s)
    • You can retain AGSLAW to prepare correspondences on your behalf. For example: If you received a letter from your former spouse (or their lawyer) and you wish for us to formulate a response on your behalf, in a professional manner. Or, you wish not to have any contact with the opposing side.
  • Order interpretation
    • You need clarification on the meaning of an order (or orders) with regards to your rights and obligations.
  • Order drafting
    • You have a handwritten court agreement (minutes of settlement) and you wish for us to have the order drafted.
  • Coaching
    • We can guide you through the many processes of Family Law, such as court appearances, mediation, OCL and CAS meetings, phone calls to opposing parties, as well as many other areas. We can meet with you and strategize a response, or strategize a start to your proceedings to help you get off on the right foot. Come in for as many meetings as you find necessary for you to remain well-informed while making tough choices.
  • Offers to settle
    • You feel that you have a good idea as to how to resolve your legal issue. Let us help you prepare a comprehensive and effective offer to settle which will protect your present and future legal interests.
  • Legal research
    • Let our legal professionals research an area of the law using the latest technology that relates to your situation so as to help you make the best choices in relation to the question(s) at hand.
  • Process serving
    • We can serve and file any document at any court in Canada, among other court services.

All services are provided on agreement with our terms and conditions, which are available on request. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at any time.

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