Terrace advocate can help with legal paperwork, research, and offer emotional support in court
If you’re going through a separation, the last thing on your mind is legal paperwork. But eventually you will have to address shared property, debts and any parenting or child support questions. It’s emotional, and the BC legal system isn’t user-friendly. “Most people don’t know where to start,” says Joshua Evans, a Family Law Advocate with Terrace and District Community Service Society (TDCSS).
As an advocate, Evans provides legal information and referrals to other services. He’s not a lawyer and does not provide legal advice or represent clients in court, but he can help you navigate the system and understand legal processes. All of his services are free.
“I have strong research skills and I’m up-to-date with current legislation in BC. I come from an empathetic perspective, providing care to people who are often in crisis, helping them navigate the complicated legal system,” he says.
Free legal advocacy in Terrace
If you already have a lawyer but want to keep expenses as low as possible, a Family Law Advocate can help fill out legal paperwork. If there’s a communication issue between you and your lawyer, Evans can help communicate your point of view.
“I can also attend court with a client to provide emotional support,” he says, referring to the McKenzie friend support program. All Family Law Advocate services are confidential, and free. “The first thing I tell my clients is that nothing they disclose to me leaves my office, unless they give me written consent. The second thing I do is a conflict check — if there’s a conflict of interest, I’ll try to refer them to another service. I don’t like to leave clients with nowhere to go.”
A TDCSS Family Law Advocate can help with many legal services:
- Applying for Legal Aid
- Divorce and separation agreements
- Protection orders
- Family Maintenance Enforcement Program (FMEP)
- Guardianship, parenting time and parental responsibilities
- Child support and spousal support
- Property, debts up to $20,000 and emergency asset restraint
- Child protection
“Even if a client’s issues do not fall into these categories, I will still make sure they’re connected with programs that can help,” Evans says.
Evans has worked with TDCSS for two and a half years, and has been in his current role for the last six months. “I wanted to enter a role where I’d make more of a positive and meaningful impact on people’s lives — especially people who are struggling. My parents are both in the social services, and I find it very fulfilling.”