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Services - Mediation

Conciliation | Mediation | Assessments | Parent Education |

Mediation provides an opportunity for parties coming coming to the Supreme Court (Family Division) to resolve differences in matters relating to custody, access, support or maintenance, and property without going to court. In mediation, an impartial, trained mediator will assist each person, talk about their needs and issues, and will help resolve the issues in appropriate cases.
See Family Mediation Canada or Family Mediation Nova Scotia.

The purpose of Family Mediation Canada is to promote accessible, quality mediation services for families.

The goals of mediation are:

  • To provide an alternative method of resolving issues, where appropriate;
  • To encourage the non-adversarial resolution of issues; and
  • To develop an agreement acceptable to both parties.

When and where?

Mediation will take place at the Family Division locations in Halifax Regional Municipality, Sydney and Port Hawkesbury, at the offices of the mediator or another location acceptable to the parties, at times convenient to both parties and the mediator.

Do I have to attend mediation?

No. Attendance at mediation is voluntary. A court officer may suggest mediation, but you are not required to go if you do not agree. The judge will not know that you did not agree to attend mediation.

How many sessions will I have to attend?

The number of sessions you attend is up to you, the other party and the mediator. The Family Division will provide a limited number of sessions, based on the issues tobe resolved.

How do I find a mediator?

If you have been referred by a court officer, judge or other professional, they will give you the name of the mediator assigned to your case. If not, you can contact the Family Division yourself and they will provide you with a list of mediators in the community who will provide the service for a fee. You can also get a list of mediators through Family Mediation Nova Scotia.

How does mediation work?

A trained mediator meets with you and the other person, separately at first, then together, to help you both identify your interests. With the assistance of the mediator, you then consider and develop options that are acceptable to you both. Mediators do not give legal advice.

Mediation does not work in situations where personal safety is at risk, where there is a history of violence or where one of the parties is uncooperative. If this describes your situation, bring it to the attention of court staff.

What are the benefits of mediation?

There are several benefits:

  • You work towards creating an agreement that considers both your needs and interests and those of the other person;
  • You, not the judge, make decisions about your own family;
  • You and your children benefit when you resolve disputes in a positive manner;
  • Mediation promotes cooperation which can help you deal with future concerns constructively.

How can I find out if mediation is the best approach for me?

  • You can consider your options when you discuss your situation with a court officer;
  • You can consult a lawyer to determine if mediation is suitable;
  • You can discuss your situation with the mediator, before mediation takes place.

What happens when we reach an agreement through mediation?

The mediator can draft an agreement, however, this agreement should be reviewed by your lawyer. This agreement can form the basis of a court order that will be issued by the judge.

What happens if we cannot reach an agreement through mediation?

The mediator will refer you to your lawyer or a court officer, to discuss your options. The court will be informed only that you were not able to reach a mediated agreement. The details of discussions during mediation are not disclosed to the court.


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