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Do I need a lawyer to go to court?

By: Steven Benmor, B.Sc., LL.B., Family Lawyer

Jurisdiction: Ontario (Canada)

“Do I need a lawyer to go to court?” No. A spouse may appear in court without a lawyer. However, it is not recommended.

The court process is complex. It is based on rules of procedure, such as the Rules of Civil Procedure and the Family Law Rules.

The relief sought is based on legislation such as the Family Law Act and the Children’s Law Reform Act.

Family lawyers are educated, trained and licensed to represent spouses in court. Family lawyers are familiar with recent changes in the law and are familiar with the court process.

It is critical to obtain legal advice and representation by a Family lawyer when proceeding to court. If, however, a spouse decides not to retain a Family lawyer, he or she will then be responsible for preparing, swearing, serving and filing all of the appropriate court documents.

The spouse will also be required to make oral submissions to the Judge.

Steven Benmor

About the author: Steven Benmor practices Family Law in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Visit Steven Benmor’s online Family Law Resource Center for concise answers to many more frequently asked Family law questions, feature articles on Family law topics, dozens of links to other Family law websites, and more at The information on this page is for discussion purposes only. It is by no means legal advice or even a statement of the law on this subject. Please do not rely on the accuracy or completeness of this information. Any question or concern elicited by the information on this page should be taken to a lawyer who will consider the facts of each case and the legal remedies available.