Making mediation happen in a family law case in Supreme Court
If you have started a case in Supreme Court, there are steps you can take to require your spouse to attend a mediation session. You do this by serving your spouse with a document called a Notice to Mediate. (See our self-help guide How to serve Supreme Court documents.)
You must serve the notice between 90 days after the Response is filed and 90 days before the trial date.
Once the Notice to Mediate is served, your spouse must attend a mediation session unless:
- you've already had a mediation session on the issues in dispute;
- one of you has a family law protection order or peace bond against the other;
- the mediator advises that mediation isn't appropriate or wouldn't be productive;
- the court orders that one party is exempt from participating in the mediation process, because it would be impractical or unfair to require that party to attend; or
- you both agree in writing that one party does not have to participate in mediation, and the mediator confirms that in writing.
To get the mediation going, you and your spouse need to agree on a mediator. If you need help finding a mediator, check the Mediate BC website or call:
1-888-713-0433 (no charge)
If you can't agree on a mediator, Mediate BC will choose one for you. You and your spouse are jointly responsible for paying the mediator.
If the person served with the Notice to Mediate refuses to cooperate, the court can order the refusing party to pay costs to the party who is applying for the mediation.
For more information, see the Ministry of Justice page on the Notice to Mediate (Family) Regulation. Or contact the Nanaimo, Vancouver, or Victoria Justice Access Centre.
For more information about mediators in general, see Mediation.
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