Mediation Services

What is Mediation?

Mediation is an informal process where a trained and accredited family mediator listens to both you and the other party and helps you resolve your family law problem.

Mediators do not take sides or make decisions for the parties. They help you see options, communicate clearly and focus on solutions. Mediation is based on the idea that there is a range of fairness and that parties can come to a solution within that range.

What types of issues can be mediated?

All family law issues can be mediated, including custody, access, child and spousal support, property, grandparents claims, sale of property.

The Benefits of Mediation

  • Voluntary, not forced upon you – you have to want to participate and you are part of the solution
  • Honours the right of self-determination – people making their own decisions.
  • Keeps decision-making with those who know the children best – the parents.
  • Helps protect family relationships by improving communication, increasing understanding and reducing conflict between the parents.
  • Invites parents to meet the challenges of separation and divorce in a co-operative and confident manner.
  • Is a confidential process: information learned in mediation may not be used in court proceedings during and after mediation.
  • less costly than litigation thus leaving more money available for the needs of children or parties
  • Is flexible so can include other parties or even provide a way to have your children heard

Two Service Models for Mediation

On-Site Mediation

Mediation is provided at no cost to the public on certain dates and times at the Courthouse. This service is free. The mediators are trained to help you resolve your matter that day.

Off-Site Mediation

Off-Site Mediation is available for any member of the public simply by requesting the service. Call our Intake Clerk at 519-946-0808 to discuss mediation and how to make a referral or email us at admin@bfc-mediation.com.

Click here to learn about how to access these services and the mediation intake process.

BFC is the service provider in Windsor and Essex County. Mediation services are subsidized to make them more affordable for you. The province is assisting the public to have access to mediation services by making them very affordable to you, based on your income and number of dependent children.

All of our mediators are experienced and qualified to the highest standards because they are accredited by the Ontario Association for Family Mediation.

See “Subsidized Rates” to see what rate you would pay for mediation. these rates are considerably less than you would pay privately.

Our Standards

Competence

It is the obligation of anyone acting as a family mediator to ensure that he or she is fully qualified to deal with the specific issues involved.

  1. Family mediators come from a variety of professional backgrounds (with a diversity of education and training), and are obligated to refrain from rendering services outside the limits of the family mediator’s qualifications, education and experience.
  2. Family mediators shall engage in continuing education to ensure that their mediation knowledge and skills are current.
  3. In the event that any party expresses dissatisfaction with the impartiality of the mediator, then it is the duty of the mediator to advise the parties of their right to terminate the process.
  4. The mediator must disclose any known prior involvement with a party either directly or through his or her partners or associates. Mediation may only proceed following such disclosure with the express written consent of all the parties.
  5. Following the conclusion of the mediation, the mediator shall remain available as a neutral to assist the parties in the future and shall therefore refrain from assisting the parties in any other capacity without the express written consent of the parties.

Duty of Confidentiality

The mediator shall not voluntarily disclose to anyone who is not a party to the mediation any information or documents obtained through the mediation process except:

  1. non-identifying information for research or education purposes; or
  2. upon the written consent of all the parties to the mediation contract, which includes the mediator; or
  3. when ordered by the court or required by law; or
  4. when the information discloses an actual or potential threat to human life or safety.

The mediator has an obligation to report to the Children’s Aid Society when he/she has a reasonable belief that a child is in need of protection.

An Agreement to Mediate shall be signed by the mediator. The mediator shall comply with the terms of confidentiality contained in the signed Agreement to Mediate.

The mediator shall inform the parties of any limits to confidentiality in relation to the process, including information received in intake, caucuses and break-out meetings.

The mediator shall maintain confidentiality in the storage and dispersal of mediation notes, records and files, both paper and electronic, and other provisions of the Privacy Act.

Learn about the Process