New mediation services keep family matters out of court

0
303

Victoria: A new legal aid project is providing free mediation services for B.C. families to help them resolve family matters concerning property, debt, spousal support or child-related issues without going to court. With increased funding from the Ministry of Justice, the Legal Services Society (LSS) has launched a Mediation Referral pilot project. Low-income people who qualify financially for legal aid, but have legal issues outside of the scope for a referral to a LSS-referred lawyer, will be referred to the Mediate BC Society for six hours of family mediation services.  Mediate BC co-ordinates the delivery of a range of dispute resolution services and maintains a list of professional mediators located throughout the province. Mediators assigned through the referral program will work with clients separately and/or together, depending on the situation, in order to achieve early resolution of family disputes.  Mediation gives families an opportunity to minimize conflict and resolve their family law problems out of court whenever possible. Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Suzanne Anton said, “Mediation is an effective and affordable alternative to going to court and government is proud to support innovative solutions that save B.C. families time and money in resolving their disputes and engaging in their own solutions. By providing clients with appropriate services, family issues will be resolved without going to court, and resolutions will ensure the best interests of children are met. This new pilot project is yet another example of meaningful change that the Ministry of Justice and the Legal Services Society are undertaking to provide people with the services they need, when and where they need them.”