Family mediation is a confidential and informal way where an accredited mediator helps parents and families reach a mutually acceptable agreement and resolve issues that affect their lives.
Utilizing proven techniques and knowledge, a mediator will guide the parties and help them reduce the emotional stress and ensure safety for all participants. A mediator does not decide the outcome of a case but rather help to manage the issues and ensure the best possible results.
Anyone considering mediation should get all the facts about mediation, mediators and the organization(s) responsible for their accreditation or certification.
If you have already started a family court case, most Judges will encourage parties to participate in mediation and resolve some or all of their issues. Over 80% of mediation cases result in a full agreement.
For any unresolved issues, parties have an opportunity to continue with their court action where a Judge will decide the outcome.
Family mediation helps you resolve issues related to:
For more information about family mediation, see our FAQ section.
Since November 30, 2006, Ontario Children’s Aid Societies are required under the Child and Family Services Act to consider and/or use a prescribed method of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) on the following occasions:
Child protection mediation (CP Med) can be used to work through a number of issues, including:
Child protection mediation is funded by the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services. Mediators are paid by way of a transfer payment agency, not their local Child Welfare Agency.
Parenting coordination is an alternative dispute resolution service for chronic high conflict couples.
The goal is to help parents interpret, implement and comply with their previously agreed upon parenting plan or court ordered plan. Parenting coordination is usually performed by mental health professionals, like social workers, however, some come from other disciplines.
Parents often hire a PC when they have exhausted all other avenues of conflict resolution and the children remain negatively impacted by their conflict. To begin the process, parents are encouraged to get independent legal advice and ensure their lawyers sign the PC agreement with them.
Parenting coordinating blends legal and clinical function with the intent to resolve disputes in a timely manner and finalize an issue. It is appropriate in situations where there is a high degree of anger and mistrust, poor communication, verbal abuse and aggression, high retaliation rate and where there are multiple agencies involved like police, child protection and other professionals.
Parenting coordination helps to:
Bringing two parents and their children together can be very challenging for a number of reasons, including different traditions, routines and parenting styles. It can be hard to balance different expectations from so many people.
Blended families experiencing these challenges , will be provided with resources, including individual or group counselling (or a combination of the two ) to help them balance the day-to-day of everyday life. Registration is required for all group sessions and may include guest speakers.
Civil Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution process used to resolve disputes in civil cases. Mediating a civil dispute avoids law suits in court, which are expensive, unpredictable and time consuming. The process allows for those in dispute to be in the same room at the same time with a mediator to ensure the process is fair and everyone has a say in the outcome. Some common areas of civil disputes include:
Mediators charge based on the number of participants, the number of issues to be resolved and the time commitment invested (including time to read documents, photocopying, travel and accommodations). Most mediations are completed within one day.