What is a family mediation intake?


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It is a free, confidential one-on-one with an accredited, skilled family mediator. It takes about 30-45 minutes. In that time the mediator will discuss the file in confidence with each party, to learn whether there are any issues that might be quickly resolved in mediation. It takes place either virtually or in person at the mediation office in the family court.

Intake meetings are ideal opportunities for parties to share their concerns and needs in confidence with a compassionate and qualified professional. The facts may lead to a decision that mediation is not appropriate—perhaps the parties are not ready, they need legal advice, disclosure is not complete, or one or both need supports like a safety plan, help finding legal advice, or family violence referrals.

But proceeding to mediation is voluntary; no party will be forced to mediate with the other if they do not wish to do so, for any reason.

Even if the intake meeting does not lead to mediation, both parties benefit from a confidential conversation about their needs and concerns, and from any referrals and supports they obtain.

On-site mediators do not report to the Court nor anyone about the intake meeting, unless a child is in need of protection, there is an immediate safety concern, or they are ordered by a court to do so.

There is almost no downside to asking for an Order for mediation intakes. If the matter does not proceed to mediation, the mediator simply notes that the case is not appropriate at this time for mediation.

And if both parties feel, as most do, that they would benefit from trying onsite mediation, they can do that at the same time, or they can schedule their mediation for a later date.

Most parties who use our on-site mediation service settle one or more issues. Most find it to be a highly satisfactory experience. Many return for further mediation. Because we have strong partnerships with @lao duty counsel, the @famillyjusticecentre, the @barbraschliferclinic and other local resources, we can offer litigants a very useful service.

Consider asking a judge to make an order for confidential mediation intake meetings under Rule 17(8)(b)(iii) at your next Conference!

Family Law Information Centres (FLIC)

You can learn much more about available services, mediation, court process, separation, divorce and the law by visiting us at one of our Family Law Information Centres (FLIC).


361 University Ave, Suite 146, Toronto, ON M5G 1T3

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311 Jarvis Street Toronto, Ontario, M5B 2C4(Between Gerrard and Dundas)

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47 Sheppard Avenue East Toronto, Ontario M2N 5X5Main Floor (Just east of Yonge, south side of Sheppard)

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