Mediation offers individuals the ability of having a neutral third party assist in resolving their family law issues. In an effort to make the family justice system more efficient and affordable, the Ontario government launched an initiative called mediate393 to provide mediation and informational services for people who are going through family law proceedings in the court system or are trying to resolve family law issues on their own. The service is located at the Superior Court of Justice in Toronto at 393 University Ave., mediate393 provides on-site mediation to anyone involved in a case that is on the court docket for that day, including motions, trials, case conferences and settlement conferences. This service is intended for cases that require less than 2 hours of mediation. It is available at no charge and there is no income restriction. Available Monday through Friday on a first come, first serve basis, the program is voluntary and confidential.
The mediators at mediate393 are accredited with the Ontario Association of Family Mediation and include lawyers and social workers but individuals who use the service should keep in mind that while the mediators assist in resolving family law issues, they do not provide legal advice. Each party should consult a lawyer to obtain any legal advice necessary before making final decisions.For more complex cases that require 2-8 hours of mediation, mediate393 offers subsidized off-site mediation. This service is available to anyone in the Greater Toronto Area regardless of whether they have started a family law case or not and can be used to resolve any sort of family law issue including: custody, access, support, property valuation and property division. The fees charged for this service are relative to the individual’s income.