Services to change existing agreements and orders

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 that change existing agreements and orders

You may need to change your original agreement or court order as your circumstances change. For example, your parenting arrangement may need to be adjusted as your children grow up. Your child support may change if you update your parenting arrangement or if you or the other parent’s income changes. (see “Services to calculate or update child support amounts out of court” section)

Definition:
A Court order is a written decision made by a judge. Parents must follow what the court order says. Court orders can be changed by going back to a judge and asking for a change, but only if there is a good reason.

Definition:
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.”

To do so you may need information about the ways to change the original post-separation parenting arrangements and family support obligations (child and spousal support). Many provinces and territories have services that offer information about the process to obtain or vary a court order and provide self-help kits for support applications.

Services such as mediation, can help you make initial arrangements and can also help you change your child or spousal support obligations or parenting arrangement.

Definition:
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.

Types of services

Mediation

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.

Definition:
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.

Definition:
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.

Definition:
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.

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 where one party lives in Canada and the party lives outside Canada.

Family justice centres

Family justice centres can help you resolve parenting arrangements, parenting time, and/or family support obligations (child and spousal support) issues. These centres can provide referrals to parent education and information sessions or family dispute resolution services (like mediation), and information about court processes.

Definition:
Family dispute resolution services are out-of-court processes that parties can use in a family law dispute to attempt to resolve any issues upon which they cannot agree. There are many types of family dispute resolution processes, such as negotiation, mediation, collaborative law, and arbitration.

Family law information and resource centres

Information and resource centres offer free information on separation and divorce, family law issues and court procedures in your province or territory. Generally, employees do not provide legal advice. However, they can give you forms and guide you through the steps of family justice services and legal proceedings. They can also refer you to legal and community resources that meet your needs or provide education sessions.

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.

Definition:
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

Alberta

Family Mediation

Calgary

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

Edmonton

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: https://www.alberta.ca/family-mediation.aspx

British Columbia

Children in Mediation Services

For locations and telephone numbers:

Website: https://www.clicklaw.bc.ca/helpmap/service/1019

Family Justice Centres

Website: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/life-events/divorce/family-justice/who-can-help/family-justice-centres

For an up to date list of Family Justice Centre locations and telephone numbers

Website: https://www.clicklaw.bc.ca/helpmap/service/1019

Family Justice Report Service

301- 32555 Simon Ave.,
Telephone: 778-360-2052

For an up to date list of Family Justice Centre locations and telephone numbers

Website: https://www.clicklaw.bc.ca/helpmap/service/1019

Manitoba

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
Email: getguidance@gov.mb.ca
Website: https://www.gov.mb.ca/familylaw/resolution/family-resolution-service.html

New Brunswick

Family Law Information Centres (FLIC)

Family Law Information Centre (FLIC) - Moncton Law Courts

Located at the Moncton Law Courts
145 Assomption Blvd, First Floor
Moncton, NB E1C 0R2
Telephone: 856-2307 Option 2
Hours of operation: Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm

Family Law Information Centre (FLIC) – Saint John Law Courts

Located at the Saint John Law Courts
10 Peel Plaza, Level 2 Floor
Saint John, NB E2L 3G6
Telephone: 658-6361
Hours of operation: Open Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.

Newfoundland and Labrador

Mediation – Family Justice Services

Website: http://www.justice.gov.nl.ca/just/department/contact.html#family

Family Justice Services

Website: http://www.justice.gov.nl.ca/just/department/contact.html#family

Family Law Information Sessions

Telephone: (709) 729-1381
Email: FLinfosession@supreme.court.nl.ca  
Website: https://court.nl.ca/supreme/family/information_sessions.html

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
Email: flmp@gov.nt.ca

Nova Scotia

Family Law Information Program (FLIP)

FLIP Centre Halifax

Supreme Court (Family Division), Lower Level
3380 Devonshire Avenue
Halifax, NS
Telephone: 902-424-5232

FLIP Centre Sydney

Supreme Court (Family Division)
Harbour Place, Main Level
136 Charlotte Street
Sydney, NS
Telephone: 902-563-5761

Conciliation

Website: http://www.gov.ns.ca/just/Court_Services/justice_centres.asp.

ISO-ADR for Incoming and Outgoing Matters

Website: https://www.nsfamilylaw.ca/sites/default/files/video/attorn_to_jurisdiction_info_sheet.pdf

Nunavut

Mediation Services

Family Medication Program and Parenting Education Program

Box 1000, Stn. 510
Building #1106
Iqaluit NU X0A 0H0
Telephone: 867-975- 6346
Email: klogan@gov.nu.ca
Fax: 867-975-6160

Family Law Information Centres

Law Library

Box 297
Iqaluit NU X0A 0H0
Telephone: 867-975-6134
Email: courtlibrary@gov.nu.ca
Fax: 867-975-6148

Legal Services Board:

Website: http://nulas.ca/en/public-legal-education/

The Legal Services Board Kitikmeot Law Centre

25 Mitik St, Cambridge Bay
Telephone: 1-866-240-4006

Kivalliq Legal Services

18-4 Avinngaq Street, Rankin Inlet
Telephone: 1-800-606-9400

Maliiganik Tukisiiniakvik Legal Services

Building 1104-B, Iqaluit,
Telephone: 1-866-202-5593

Ontario

Family Law Information Centres

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

Guided Pathways to Family Court Forms

CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario/Éducation juridique communautaire Ontario)

180 Dundas St. West, Suite 506
Toronto, Ontario M5G 1Z8
Telephone: 416-408-4420
Fax: 416-408-4424
Email: info@cleo.on.ca
Website: https://stepstojustice.ca/guided-pathways/home

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 Mediation

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

Child Support Services Office

Honourable C.R. McQuaid Family Law Centre
1 Harbourside Access Road, P.O. Box 2000
Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8
Telephone: 902-368- 6220
Fax: 902-368-6934
Email: csso@gov.pe.ca

Community Legal Information

53 Grafton St. Suite 202
Charlottetown, PE
C1A 1K8
Telephone: 902-892-0853
Telephone: 1-800-240-9798 (Atlantic region only)
Fax: 902-368-4096
Email: info@legalinfopei.ca

Quebec

For information on family justice services in Quebec

Website: www.justice.gouv.qc.ca/english/accueil.asp

Saskatchewan

Family Law Information Centre, Support Variation Project

Telephone: 306-787-5837
Toll free: 1-888-218-2822 Ext. 2
Email: familylaw@gov.sk.ca

Yukon

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 Law Information Centre

1st Floor, Andrew A. Philipsen Law Centre
2134 Second Ave.
Whitehorse, Yukon, Y1A 5H6
Telephone: 867-456-6721
Toll-free in Yukon: 1-800-661-0408, ext. 6721
Fax: 867-456-6105
Email: flic@yukon.ca
Website: http://www.yukonflic.ca or http://www.yukonflic.ca/fr