Below is an exciting new initiative from Mediate B.C. and the Legal Services Society. If you are financially eligible for Legal Aid, and wish to employ a mediator rather than go to court, this program may be for you. Just follow the links on the Mediate B.C. document attached to determine if you are eligible. Just Family Solutions is one of the roster referral mediation services for this project.
FAMILY MEDIATION PROGRAMS
Legal Services Society refers clients to mediation programs to assist them in achieving early resolution of family disputes. The Family Mediation Referral pilot program – offered by Legal Services Society and Mediate BC – provides eligible clients with a referral for basic private mediation services to assist them in resolving issues concerning property division, debt and support when they are in conjunction with other family matters. The Family Justice Services program – offered by the Ministry of Justice – provides mediation to assist clients in resolving issues concerning guardianship, parenting arrangements, contact and support.
Mediation is often successful at helping people resolve family law issues without going to court. Benefits of mediation include:
- It is more flexible, quicker and allows for more creative solutions than the court process
- It can address the family's needs and interests in addition to legal rights and responsibilities
- It encourages the parties to craft their own solution rather than having one imposed on them
- It helps to prevent conflict from escalating unnecessarily
- It works - resolution rates are very high
Family Mediation Referral pilot program
To qualify for this pilot program, you must:
- Qualify financially for legal aid
- Have a family matter which includes property division, debt and support in conjunction with other family law issues
This service will include:
- A referral to Mediate BC for 6 hours of paid family mediation services by a private mediator
- Fees for Mediation services beyond the 6 paid hours will be determined by income and assets
Family Justice Services Program
Family mediation services are provided for free for people of modest means by trained mediators (called family justice counsellors). These services can help you:
- Reach an agreement
- Formalize an agreement
- Assist in changing a court order for guardianship, parenting arrangements (including parental responsibilities and parenting time), contact and support
To access the mediation programs offered by the Legal Services Society:
- Visit your local legal aid office or call the Legal Services Society at 604-408-2172 or toll free at 1-866-577-2525, Monday to Friday from 9:00 am - 3:45 pm (Wednesday to 2:00 pm).