Family mediation program

Separation and divorce

Free family mediation sessions are offered for couples with children of minor age, or dependent children aged 18 or above, up to a fixed number of hours depending on their situation. 

You are entitled to a session of 2 hours 30 minutes on parenting after separation, in addition to:

  • 5 hours of mediation, if you are in the process of separating,
  • 2 hours 30 minutes of mediation, if you already have an agreement or court judgment but wish to have it reviewed, if you and your former spouse have already received family mediation services, or if you have already obtained a judgment ordering separation from bed and board (legal separation).

The Ministère de la Justice pays the fees of an accredited family mediator for the hours of mediation provided free of charge under the Regulation respecting family mediation. Some funding for free mediation is also provided by the federal government's Canadian Family Justice Fund.  

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.

If you do not have common dependent children, visit our Web page about the pilot project to learn more about the duration of mediation that applies to your situation. 

From February 18, 2021, to June 30, 2022, couples with no common dependent children will be eligible for 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, whether you are married or not.

What is more, as of February 18, a new free service will be available to inform and help prepare couples who have opted for mediation. This service will be offered by Community Justice Centers and can, among other things, equip you for mediation should you require it. You will also be able to contact a family mediator directly, as is possible now. ​​​​​​

More information about the mediation pilot project for couples without dependent children or about the new pre-mediation service can be found on our Web site.

Adoption

A family mediation service is offered free of charge to help a child's adoptive parents and members of the child's biological family negotiate a communication agreement.

The parties can receive up to

  • 5 hours of mediation to conclude a mediation agreement,
  • 2 hours 30 minutes of mediation to revise a communication agreement or settle a dispute concerning the application of an agreement.

The Ministère pays the fees of an accredited family mediator for the hours of mediation provided free of charge under the Regulation respecting family mediation

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.
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