Q&A about Toronto’s free family court information, and free and subsidized family mediation services!
Q: I have just separated from my partner. We do not have lawyers and we do not have a court case. How can you help us?
A: Yes! You can contact our Information & Referral Coordinator (IRC) (firstname.lastname@example.org, or 416-593-5393) for a full and free consultation about the services and options available to you both and to your family. We have IRCs standing by 9-5 every day. And if you want to mediate, you do not need to be in court! Our subsidized mediation services are available to everyone.
Q: Can you help me find a lawyer?
A: Yes! Our IRCs will give you the latest information about the free and affordable legal services available. You can also learn more about them on our website, www.mediate393.ca
Q: I have started a court proceeding, but I want to see if my ex-partner and I can reach an agreement. Do I need to wait for a judge to refer us to mediation?
A: No! If you want to try to settle your case, and you have a first appearance or case conference date set, we can schedule you for a free virtual “onsite” family mediation, if your case is appropriate after we have met with you both.
Q: I have a virtual case conference coming up. Can we try to settle before then? Or after?
A: Yes! You will be scheduled for a free, virtual mediation if you are both interested and the matter is appropriate. You do not need to be referred.
Q: We both have lawyers. How can your services help us?
A: We work with represented clients all the time. Your lawyers can be with you at the virtual mediation, or they can support you without being in the meeting. We can help you save legal fees, and can help your lawyers work through difficult issues.
Q: There is a history of domestic violence in our case. Can we still mediate?
A: We will meet you both confidentially to help decide if mediation is appropriate. We will need to know if there are any no-contact terms, and whether you both feel safe, among other things. We do not automatically “screen out” all domestic violence cases as victims of domestic violence can feel empowered and safe in mediation in appropriate cases.
If you want to learn more, or are a fellow court agency or partner, please come to our next virtual Coffee Shop! Contact us at email@example.com for more information.