What is a family law advocate and what are the responsibilities and the mandate of a family law advocate?
I’ll start out by saying that I’m not a lawyer because I am not a member of the Law Society. I am trained by the Law Foundation of BC in trying to try to assist people in most areas of family law. That includes issues with children, guardianship, parenting time, parenting responsibilities, support orders, on occasion, protection orders, assisting with divorce applications and and uncontested divorces. Another area is division of family assets, I can assist people with that where the assets do not exceed $20,000.
Other ways that I can assist individuals is to refer them to other resources in the community. For example, the family duty counsel and the duty counsel lawyers provided by Legal Aid BC at the Penticton courthouse. I also refer to the Family Justice counselor, here in town that will assist in arranging a consent order.
Any questions that I don’t have an answer for I have a supervising lawyer that will come in and discuss legal issues with me on Friday mornings. I also have a family advocate support lawyer in Vancouver that I can access so if there are questions that I cannot answer, I can refer to my resources to get a concrete legal answer for my clients. So if anybody has any family law issue, I welcome them to contact the Access Center and I will interview them and refer them to resources or assist them in any way that I can.