Services to facilitate out-of-court family dispute resolution

Family violence

If you or your children are experiencing abuse, you might need additional services to help with your situation.

Many provinces and territories offer family justice services that are specifically intended for families experiencing family violence.

On this page

Note that not all provinces and territories offer the same services.

Learn about services to resolve a dispute out of court

As you go through a separation or divorce, you and your former partner may have to resolve issues such as parenting arrangements, child support, spousal support, and division of property. Resolving these issues out of court can be quicker, cheaper and help to reduce conflict between parents.

A parenting arrangement is a plan that you or a court make for the care of your children after you separate or divorce. Parenting arrangements include “parenting time” and “decision-making responsibility.”

Publicly funded mediation or non-government based services such as mediation, negotiation, arbitration and collaborative law are some of the alternatives to going to court. These services can help if you can’t agree on parenting arrangements. They can also help if you can’t agree on financial matters including division of property, child support or spousal support. While this section provides information about government based services in your province or territory, there are also out-of-court dispute resolution services offered by the private sector and community organizations.

Mediation is a process in which a neutral third party helps parents come to an agreement about issues related to separation and divorce, such as their parenting arrangement. In “shuttle mediation,” the two parents do not need to be in the same room. The mediator speaks to one parent and then to the other parent separately. The two parents negotiate with the help of the mediator, without being face to face.

Negotiation is a process in which parties have discussions to try to come up with a compromise or agreement about parenting issues. Parents may negotiate by themselves or they may negotiate with the help of their legal advisers.

Arbitration is a process in which a neutral person—an arbitrator—makes decisions on legal issues. Under this process, both parents agree that they will allow the arbitrator to make decisions. The arbitrator acts like a judge.

Collaborative law is a process in which both parents, their legal advisers, and potentially other professionals agree to work cooperatively to come to an agreement. During the collaborative process, both parents agree not to bring any court applications.

Types of services

Triage, intake or screening processes

Some provinces and territories offer triage or screening services as the first step in resolving a dispute. These services can help you by first assessing the circumstances of your case, discussing options with you, and making appropriate referrals to other services.


Mediation is a dispute resolution process where a mediator (a neutral person) can help you and your former partner resolve your family law issues. The mediator does not take sides. The mediator may make suggestions to help you and your former partner communicate better and reach an agreement about your issues. However, the mediator does not make decisions for you and cannot give you legal advice.

Publicly funded mediation is available in most provinces and territories. These services vary in terms of the number of hours of service provided, the scope of issues addressed and the fees payable, if any.

Some provinces and territories also offer international mediation services. This means that a mediator will help to resolve a dispute in situations where one party lives in Canada and the other party lives outside Canada.

Family law can be complex. You may want to get advice regarding your situation from a family law legal adviser.

For more information on provincial and territorial services that provide legal advice, please see the “Services for assistance with court process” section.

A Legal adviser is a person who is qualified in a province to give legal advice to another person or represent them in court. This can be a lawyer, and in some provinces, may include other professionals.

Related Justice Canada resources

Find the publicly funded family justice services available in your province or territory


Intake services


Telephone: 403-297-6981


Telephone: 780-427-8343

Fort McMurray

Telephone: 780-743-7345

Grande Prairie

Telephone: 780-833-4200

High Prairie

Telephone: 780-523-6183


Telephone: 780-865-8384


Telephone: 403-388-3102

Medicine Hat

Telephone: 403-529-8716

Red Deer

Telephone: 403-340-7187

Telephone: 780-614-6300


Telephone: 780-361-1374

Resolution and Court Administration Services Contact Centre 1-855-738-4747

Children’s Services Mediation

Calgary and area

Telephone: 403-297-6981

Edmonton and area

Telephone: 780-427- 8329

Other areas in Alberta

Telephone: 403-355-2414

Family Mediation


Suite 706-S, Calgary Courts Centre
601 5 Street SW
Calgary, AB T2P 5P7
Telephone: 403-297-6981


Suite 8077, John E. Brownlee Building
10365 97 Street NW
Edmonton, AB T5J 3W7
Telephone: 780-427-8329

Elsewhere in Alberta

Telephone: 403-355-2414
For more information visit:

Dispute Resolution Officer Program (Calgary) and Child Support Resolution Program (Edmonton)


Resolution Support Centre
8124, 8th floor 10365 97 Street, John E Brownlee Building
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 3W7
Telephone: 780-427-1907
Fax: 780-415-0403


Resolution Support Centre
#706-S, Calgary Courts Centre
601 - 5th Street S.W.
Calgary, AB T2P 5P7
Telephone: 403-297- 6981
Fax: 403-297- 6103
Toll free: Dial 310-0000 first for toll free access in Alberta.

British Columbia

Children in Mediation Services

For locations and telephone numbers:


Family Justice Counsellor- Dispute Resolution


For an up-to-date list of locations and contact information:


Justice Access Centres

Justice Access Centres

Website :

Abbotsford Justice Access Centre

2nd floor – 32375 Veterans Way,
Abbotsford, BC

Nanaimo Justice Access Centre

302 - 65 Front St .,
Nanaimo, B.C

Surrey Justice Access Centre

3rd floor – 14340 57th Ave.,
Surrey, BC

Vancouver Justice Access Centre

290 - 800 Hornby St .,
Vancouver Law Courts
Robson Square
Vancouver, BC

Victoria Justice Access Centre

225-850 Burdett Ave.,
Victoria, BC

Other dispute resolution options


Early Assessment


For an up to date list of Family Justice Centres and Justice Access Centres and telephone numbers



Family Resolution Service

200-379 Broadway, Winnipeg, MB  R3C 0T9
Telephone:  204 945-2312
Toll free:  1-844 808-2313 in Manitoba
Fax: 204-948-2142

Mediation, Comprehensive Co-Mediation and Family Access

Family Resolution Service

200-379 Broadway, Winnipeg, MB  R3C 0T9
Telephone: 204 945-2312
Toll free: 1-844 808-2313 in Manitoba
Fax: 204-948-2142

New Brunswick

Newfoundland and Labrador

Intake Services – Family Justice Services


Mediation-Family Justice Services


Northwest Territories

Family Law Mediation Program

Specialized Courts and Alternative Resolution Program Advisor

Court Services
Telephone: 867-767-9285 ext. 82338
Toll Free: 1-866-217-8923

Nova Scotia

Family Law Nova Scotia


Telephone: 902-424-5232


Telephone: 902-563-5761.
Twitter: @nsfamilylaw

Intake Information Sessions (For Applicants and Respondents)


ISO-ADR for Incoming and Outgoing Matters




Settlement Conferences



Mediation Services and Parent Education and Information

Natalie Salgureo
Policy and ATIPP Advisor
Telephone: 867-975-6157

Family Mediation Program & Parent Education Program

Telephone: 867-975-6346
Fax: 867-975-6160


Dispute Resolution Officer (DRO)

Office of the Senior Family Judge
Ontario Superior Court of Justice
c/o Amal Shoom
130 Queen St. W.
Toronto, Ontario M5H 2N5
Telephone: 416-327-0638

Family Mediation Services

Program Management Branch
Ministry of the Attorney General
720 Bay Street, 2nd Floor
Toronto, ON M7A 2S9
Telephone: 416-326-3970
Fax: 416-326-3070

Prince Edward Island

Child-Focused Parenting Plan Family Mediation

Family Court Counsellors’ Office
Honourable C.R. McQuaid Family Law Centre 7
1 Harbourside Access Road, P.O. Box 2000
Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8
Telephone: 902-368-6928
Fax: 902-368-6934


For information on family justice services in Quebec



Dispute Resolution Office

Telephone: 306-787-5747
Toll free: 1-866-257-0927

Early Family Dispute Resolution Office

Telephone: 306-787-0439
Toll free:  1-833-787-0439


Settlement Conferences/Court-based Mediation

Trial Coordinator
Department of Justice, Government of Yukon
1st Floor, Andrew A. Philipsen Law Centre
2134 Second Ave.
Whitehorse, Yukon, Y1A 5H6
Telephone: 867-667-3442
Toll-free in Yukon: 1-800-661-0408, ext. 3442

Yukon Family Mediation Service

Family Mediator
Department of Justice, Government of Yukon
301 Jarvis Street, 1st Floor
Whitehorse, Yukon, Y1A 2H3
Telephone: 867-667-5753