Services that facilitate the resolution of parenting arrangement issues

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 facilitate the resolution of parenting issues

During the separation and divorce process, you and your former partner may agree to, or the court may make an order for parenting arrangements that are in the best interests of your children. These arrangements must be followed.

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.”

If your parenting arrangements need to be changed and you and your former partner are unable to reach an agreement, you may need help to resolve your parenting arrangement dispute. Some family justice services can help you resolve issues out of court. If it is not possible to use a family justice service in your particular situation, for example if there is family violence, you can also seek help from the court to enforce parenting arrangements. (see section on “services that assist with the court process”)

Types of services

Supervision services for parenting time (access) and transfers

Sometimes, safety concerns arise with respect to the exercise of parenting time (also known in some provinces and territories as access) or during the transfer or exchange of a child between parents. Supervised parenting time and transfer services allow for the transfer of the child and exercise of parenting time to take place under the supervision of a trained third party in a safe, neutral and child-focused manner.

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:
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.

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 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 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.

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

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/mediation.html
Website: https://www.gov.mb.ca/familylaw/parenting/family-access-to-children.html
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: https://www.gov.nl.ca/jps/department/contact/.

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

Supervised Access and Exchange Program

Website: https://www.nsfamilylaw.ca/about/news/supervised-access-and-exchange-program

Family Law Nova Scotia

Halifax

Telephone: 902-424-5232
Email: questions@nsfamilylaw.ca
Twitter: @nsfamilylaw
Website: https://www.nsfamilylaw.ca/

Sydney

Telephone: 902-563-5761.
Email: questions@nsfamilylaw.ca
Twitter: @nsfamilylaw
Website: https://www.nsfamilylaw.ca/

Nunavut

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

Ontario

Supervised Access

Supervised Access Program
Ministry of the Attorney General
720 Bay Street, 5th Floor
Toronto, Ontario, M7A 2S9
Telephone: 416-325-3265
TTY: 416-325-4935

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

Supervised Parenting Time and Exchange Program

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

Quebec

For information on family justice services in Quebec

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

Saskatchewan

Supervised parenting time with Children

Family Justice Services Branch

Saskatoon

Telephone:  306-933-5930

Regina

Telephone: 306-787-9416

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 Mediation Service

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