Mediation often helps people resolve family law issues without going to court. It can provide benefits including:
speed, flexibility and opportunities for creative solutions
resolution of other family issues in addition to legal ones
avoiding the escalation of hostility that often occurs in court proceedings
parties make their own decisions.
Family Justice Counsellors provide free family mediation services at Family Justice Centres and Justice Access Centres throughout BC. They help separated people of modest means to agree on issues involving guardianship, parenting arrangements, contact, and child and spousal support. They also help record agreements as separation agreements or consent court orders, including consents to change an existing court order.
You can obtain the phone number of your local Family Justice or Justice Access Centre at
Clicklaw, from your courthouse, or by calling Enquiry BC:
Toll free 1-800-663-7867
Monday to Friday 7:30 am - 5:00 pm.
For other family issues the Legal Services Society and Mediate BC are operating a new pilot program. It provides free private mediation services to help resolve family law issues that Family Justice Counsellors can’t deal with. Clients who are financially eligible for Legal Aid can be referred to Mediate BC for up to six hours of paid family mediation services for issues of property division, debt and support if they arise with other family issues. If more time is needed, fees will be charged based on your income and assets. For information on this program, see the
press release, visit your local Legal Aid office, or call the Legal Services Society at:
Toll free 1-866-577-2525
Monday to Friday 9:00 am - 3:45 pm (Wednesday to 2:00 pm).
If you want to work things out and can’t afford a mediator, get help with issues involving children and support from a Family Justice Counsellor. For property, debt and support issues try the Legal Services Society and Mediate BC program.
Note added March 6, 2018:
The pilot program run by LSS and Mediation BC is no longer available. However, some private mediators may offer services without charge or for reduced rates to those who can’t afford standard rates.