Family Legal Aid

If you meet the financial eligibility criteria you may receive a certificate to have a lawyer assist you with the following family law matters.


Child Protection Proceedings:

If you are the custodial parent named as a Respondent in an Application made by the Minister of Social Development asking the court for a supervisory order, custody or permanent guardianship of your child.


Child Support:

If you are eligible to receive child support or have an obligation to pay child support under the Family Services Act or under the Divorce Act, a Family Solicitor can help. They may also be able to help you change (vary) a child support order if it was made under the Family Services Act or the Divorce Act.


Custody and Access:

If you are the parent of a child/children, or in some cases acting as a parent with the child/children ordinarily residing with you; and you are seeking a determination or variation of custody and/or access of the child/children under the Family Services Act or the Divorce Act, a Family Solicitor can help. A Family Solicitor may also be able to help you change (vary) a custody and/or access order under the Family Services Act or the Divorce Act.


Spousal Support:

Determination of spousal support under the Family Services Act or under the Divorce Act for persons eligible to receive support.

Divorce

If you have been served with a Petition for Divorce, or want to file for a divorce, a Family Solicitor may be able to help if division of marital property or debt is not included (unless these matters are severed or previously resolved). A divorce matter may also include custody, access, child and/or spousal support.


Emergency Protection Orders pursuant to the Family Homes on Reserves and Matrimonial Interests or Rights Act:

A Family Solicitor can help you obtain (or vary) an emergency protection order under the Family Homes on Reserves and Matrimonial Interests or Rights Act.

For more information on emergency protection orders click here.


Emergency Intervention Orders pursuant to the Intimate Partner Violence Intervention Act:

A Family Solicitor can help you vary an emergency intervention order under the Intimate Partner Violence Intervention Act.

For more information on emergency intervention orders and how to obtain one click here

The first step is to contact your local legal aid office to schedule an appointment.


Eligibility Criteria

You may apply for family legal aid even if your spouse or former partner has already applied.  If both of you meet the eligibility requirements, one of you will probably be represented by an NBLASC staff lawyer and the other may get a certificate to have a family law lawyer in private practice represent him or her. This is done to avoid any potential conflicts.

Generally, people with low income or those on social assistance qualify for covered services. Legal Aid determines who is eligible for legal representation based on scope of service and financial eligibility.


Scope of Service

Not all legal proceedings are covered by legal aid. Family Law matters NOT covered include:

  • Division of marital property or debt;
  • Variation of spousal support;


Financial Eligibility

Financial eligibility is determined based on the following three factors:

1. Income:

Your income includes salary, wages, commissions, boarder income, other income, pension, allowances, and any other benefits received. Income earned by your spouse/common-law partner who resides in your household and dependants included under paragraph (b) (see “Household Size” below) is also included in the calculation.

Sources of income NOT included are:

  • Child Tax Benefit or Canada Child Benefit (previously called Universal Child Care Benefit);
  • GST Rebates;
  • Income Tax Refunds;
  • Bursaries or grants received from an educational institution or student loans;
  • The gross income of your dependants included under paragraph (a) (see “Household Size” below).

2. Allowable Deductions:

The following expenses paid by yourself, your spouse/common-law partner, or dependants included under paragraph (b) (see “Household Size” below) are deducted from your income.

Allowable deductions include:

  • Child care payments (Daycare, Babysitter, etc.);
  • Child and spousal support payments;
  • Medical or dental expenses that are not covered by an insurance plan, if the annual expenses are $1,500 or more.

3. Household Size:

Includes the following people:

  • Yourself;
  • Your current spouse/common-law partner;
  • Children under 18 years of age who live with you at least 40% of the time;
  • Dependants:
    • between the ages of 18 and 25 years (inclusive) who are registered at an educational institution and who reside with you at least 40% of the time.
    • 18 years of age or over, who suffers from absence or reduction of functional competence because of physical or mental impairment which substantially limits their ability to carry out normal daily activities and who reside with you at least 40% of the time.

You should bring as much information as possible to show your income and allowable deductions, as well as those of your current spouse/common-law partner and dependants referred to in paragraph (b) (see “Household Size” above).

  • Identification (e.g. Social insurance card, driver’s license, or Medicare card).
  • Proof of income (e.g. pay stubs received during thirty (30) days prior to date of application, income assistance stubs or Employment Insurance statements; other proof as required).
    • Are you seasonally employed on a regular basis?
      If yes, in addition to the proof of income listed above please bring your most recent Income Tax Notice of Assessment.
    • Are you in receipt of Social Assistance Benefits?
      If yes, please bring your most recent deposit slip and your white or yellow health card issued by Social Assistance.
  • Proof of allowable deductions (e.g. receipts).
  • Court documentation: You should bring all existing court documentation relating to your case (e.g court orders, separation agreements, etc.).

After you make an application for representation in a family law matter, Legal Aid will usually notify you of the outcome of your application in 1-2 weeks.

Even if Legal Aid is handling your case some expenses may not be covered. These expenses may include assessments, expert witnesses, DNA testing, etc. You would be responsible to pay for those services if they are required.

Your income (after allowable deductions have been subtracted) and household size are located on our Income Grid to determine financial eligibility and client contribution amounts. Click here for a printable version

Eligibility and contribution based on gross monthly income
(after allowable deductions are subtracted)

TIER 1 TIER 2 TIER 3 TIER 4
Household Size No contribution $150 contribution $250 contribution Not Financially Eligible
1 0 – $1,200 $1,201 – $1,900 $1,901 – $2,600 $2,601 +
2 0 – $1,800 $1,801 – $2,800 $2,801 – $3,800 $3,801 +
3 0 – $1,900 $1,901 – $2,900 $2,901 – $3,900 $3,901 +
4 0 – $2,000 $2,001 – $3,100 $3,101 – $4,200 $4,201 +
5 0 – $2,100 $2,101 – $3,300 $3,301 – $4,500 $4,501 +
6+ 0 – $2,300 $2,301 – $3,500 $3,501 – $4,700 $4,701 +

Eligibility and contribution based on gross annual income
(after allowable deductions)

TIER 1 TIER 2 TIER 3 TIER 4
Household Size No contribution $150 contribution $250 contribution Not Financially Eligible
1 0 – $14,400 $14,401 – $22,800 $22,801 – $31,200 $31,201 +
2 0 – $21,600 $21,601 – $33,600 $33,601 – $45,600 $45,601 +
3 0 – $22,800 $22,801 – $34,800 $34,801 – $46,800 $46,801 +
4 0 – $24,000 $24,001 – $37,200 $37,201 – $50,400 $50,401 +
5 0 – $25,200 $25,201 – $39,600 $39,601 – $54,000 $54,001 +
6+ 0 – $27,600 $27,601 – $42,000 $42,001 – $56,400 $56,401 +
Assuming the service(s) identified on your application fall within the NBLASC scope of service; if your income falls in:

Tier 1: You are financially eligible for legal aid and will be issued a certificate. You are not required to make an initial client contribution.
Tier 2: You are financially eligible for legal aid and will be issued a certificate upon receipt of your one-time $150 client contribution.
Tier 3: You are financially eligible for legal aid and will be issued a certificate upon receipt of your one-time $250 client contribution.
Tier 4: You are not financially eligible for legal aid and will not be issued a certificate.

Client contributions must be paid in full by certified cheque or money order before a certificate will be issued.

Appeal processes are in place to address extenuating circumstances.

Even if Legal Aid is handling your case some expenses may not be covered. These expenses may include assessments, expert witnesses, DNA testing, etc. You would be responsible to pay for those services if they are required.

Your income (after allowable deductions have been subtracted) and household size are located on our Income Grid to determine financial eligibility and client contribution amounts. Click here for a printable version

Eligibility and contribution based on gross monthly income

(after allowable deductions are subtracted)

TIER 1
Household Size No contribution
1 0 – $1,200
2 0 – $1,800
3 0 – $1,900
4 0 – $2,000
5 0 – $2,100
6+ 0 – $2,300
TIER 2
Household Size $150 contribution
1 $1,201 – $1,900
2 $1,801 – $2,800
3 $1,901 – $2,900
4 $2,001 – $3,100
5 $2,101 – $3,300
6+ $2,301 – $3,500
TIER 3
Household Size $250 contribution
1 $1,901 – $2,600
2 $2,801 – $3,800
3 $2,901 – $3,900
4 $3,101 – $4,200
5 $3,301 – $4,500
6+ $3,501 – $4,700
TIER 4
Household Size Not Financially Eligible
1 $2,601 +
2 $3,801 +
3 $3,901 +
4 $4,201 +
5 $4,501 +
6+ $4,701 +

Eligibility and contribution based on gross annual income

(after allowable deductions)

TIER 1
Household Size No contribution
1 0 – $14,400
2 0 – $21,600
3 0 – $22,800
4 0 – $24,000
5 0 – $25,200
6+ 0 – $27,600
TIER 2
Household Size $150 contribution
1 $14,401 – $22,800
2 $21,601 – $33,600
3 $22,801 – $34,800
4 $24,001 – $37,200
5 $25,201 – $39,600
6+ $27,601 – $42,000
TIER 3
Household Size $250 contribution
1 $22,801 – $31,200
2 $33,601 – $45,600
3 $34,801 – $46,800
4 $37,201 – $50,400
5 $39,601 – $54,000
6+ $42,001 – $56,400
TIER 4
Household Size Not Financially Eligible
1 $31,201 +
2 $45,601 +
3 $46,801 +
4 $50,401 +
5 $54,001 +
6+ $56,401 +

Assuming the service(s) identified on your application fall within the NBLASC scope of service; if your income falls in:

Tier 1: You are financially eligible for legal aid and will be issued a certificate. You are not required to make an initial client contribution.

Tier 2: You are financially eligible for legal aid and will be issued a certificate upon receipt of your one-time $150 client contribution.

Tier 3: You are financially eligible for legal aid and will be issued a certificate upon receipt of your one-time $250 client contribution.

Tier 4: You are not financially eligible for legal aid and will not be issued a certificate.

Client contributions must be paid in full by certified cheque or money order before a certificate will be issued.

Appeal processes are in place to address extenuating circumstances.

If you are unable to pay the one-time client contribution and you are a registered owner of real property, you may choose to sign a lien and defer payment.


What is a lien?

A lien is a legal claim against an asset (real property) used to ensure payment is received. The lien must be paid before you can sell your property or refinance your mortgage.

If you choose to defer payment you will be responsible to reimburse legal aid for the full cost of legal fees and disbursements paid on your certificate, as well as the applicable Service New Brunswick lien registration and discharge fees.

We will not send you an invoice when your file is closed; however, you may request a lien payout amount at any time after your file is closed.

If your application is refused, you will receive a form which you can fill out and return to start the appeal process.

If your application is approved, you will be required to pay your client contribution (if applicable) and sign a Client Agreement form. Once you have done so, a lawyer will be assigned to your file and they will contact you to schedule a meeting.

It may be a few months before you have your first meeting with the lawyer who will represent you. In emergency situations, Legal Aid may prioritize cases such as when a victim of spousal abuse needs a family court order on an urgent basis.

Legal Aid will assess the legal merit of each case when you first meet with your lawyer, and on a continuous basis to be sure that there is a reasonable likelihood of achieving the desired result.

The lawyer representing you may require that you register and take the parenting after separation course, called For the Sake of the Children, as a condition to continuing their legal representation.