Family mediation pilot project for couples without common dependent children

From February 18, 2021, to June 30, 2022, couples with no common dependent children will be eligible for a maximum of three hours of free mediation with an accredited family mediator. This is an enhancement to the Ministère’s Family mediation program. It gives you the opportunity to settle your separation amicably.

Eligible couples

This pilot project is for couples who are married or in a civil union and who want to discuss the partition of property under family patrimony rules and their matrimonial regime. It is also open to de facto (or “common-law”) spouses who signed a cohabitation agreement and jointly own property that must be partitioned.

The pilot project is intended for couples without children and without common dependent children. However, eligible couples may have children in common who are no longer their dependents, or dependent children born of another union, which means that neither spouse is the parent of the other spouse’s children.

Thanks to this pilot project, all spouses have the opportunity to settle their separation amicably and take advantage of the many benefits of mediation.

Subjects discussed in mediation

During mediation, the following subjects can be discussed:

  • The partition of property, including the family patrimony and any other property rights arising from the marriage or civil union 
  • The partition of property acquired jointly during the years they lived together 
  • Spousal support payments (in the case of a marriage or civil union, or in the case of common-law spouses who agreed to spousal support in a cohabitation agreement).

Duration and cost of mediation

You may receive up to three hours of free family mediation if you are separating. This includes any time spent working on the mediation outside of the mediation sessions.

It does not include fees for modifying or updating a judgment rendered on the main claim. 

The Ministère covers the fees of accredited family mediators for the number of free hours set out in the Règlement concernant un projet pilote de médiation familiale pour les couples sans enfant commun à charge (in French).

The mediator’s rate must be exactly $110/hour, the amount prescribed by regulation; if not, it will not be paid by the Ministère. It is not a subsidy.

The following costs are not covered:

  • administrative fees such as file opening fees, long-distance calls and photocopying;
  • any extra hours needed to reach an agreement;
  • the costs and fees paid to obtain a court judgment.

After mediation

You may, if you wish, have your agreement homologated by a special clerk, to give it legal effect. If this is done, Revenu Québecwill collect the necessary support payments, unless you ask to be exempted and provide the necessary security.

However, you may also decide not to have your agreement homologated. In that case, since there is no judgment, Revenu Québec will not collect any support payments, and you will have to come to an agreement on how to proceed with the payment. However, you will need a court judgment in order to divorce.

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