Ex-self-rep mom in NEED for legal fees

My name is Natasha. My 6 year-old is Evan.

I am a self-repped mother who has been desperately fighting against a convoluted court system for custody of my child for 3 years. This has been ongoing since mid-2019. I was hit with the Pandemic which made it impossible to get in front of a Judge for almost a year following. Since Dec 2020 - I've had 12 appearances, with 12 different presiding Judges (which need to be consistently 1 with family Court matters). I have been unable to submit documents as the Court is limited to a 10-page submission - standard Case Conference briefs alone are 6+ pages and due to the lack of consistency with the Judges - everything that was requested in prior appearances was not taken into consideration for the next. I have also been told at every appearance that each Judge cannot give me direction for page submission limit.

I have contacted the following organizations for legal help;

LAO (legal aid) - cannot help me as I'm not on welfare.
Barbara Shlifler Clinic - cannot help me because of jurisdiction.
LSO - 30 min consult with a lawyer cannot give me summary advice as they're not aware of my case.
FJC - I'm not on welfare + jurisdiction.
Duty Council - funded by LAO - am not on welfare.
Court Support - I do not need support, I need representation as I can't self-advocate anymore.
Pro Bono Students - I am not on welfare + jurisdiction.
Since August of 2022 alone - probably about (conservatively) 60-70 lawyers who've advised me they cannot take my case due to my being honest about my financial situation.
The Media

The list goes on. I've contacted everyone.

Backstory - I married someone who treated me very bady and who is genuinely not a good person, so I left. A child was brought into the mix. I have ZERO family or support as I am not from here. The Ontario Court system is broken and so scared to be unfair - they actually perpetuate being unfair. Despite my having hard facts proving my points - I'm left unheard and marginalized due to beaurocracies.

I've been fighting this by myself for years and am now physically ill over the damage this has caused me. I have developed stress-induced endometriosis. I am rampantly broke from not being able to maintain jobs that would normally be able to sustain me because of the stress (don't forget lockdowns and being completely isolated). I have been consistently judged and criticized for years for reaching out to literally everyone for help and receiving nothing.

There is a little 6 year old boy, who loves and in-turn is more than loved by his mother, that is affected by this.

I am now broken and unable to self-advocate. I have a Summary Judgement Motion set for November 25th, 2022 - materials need to be submitted by October 28th. This appearance means my ex is requesting the court to make a Final Decision WITHOUT trial. If I lose this - I will owe 10K in restitution to him for the Motion as well as the consequences of him getting full custody.

I need to hire a lawyer to respond that I need to have access to Trial. I will be in a position to fund said Trial when scheduled. I am not in a position to fund this Motion as I was provided a little over 2 months to action. I've also been quoted at a minimum 10K for a limited scope retainer (basically JUST for the appearance and materials).

Please - I'm fully aware of how long this request is to read and the potential backlash, but I am desperate and have been grossly misheard and I'm now too physically sick to help myself anymore. I need representation.

Kindly, kindly, I've done everything I possibly can; help me.


Natasha Ford
Toronto, ON

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