Notice to Mediate (Family) Regulation
Last revised April 02, 2019

The notice to mediate (family) process enables any party to a family law proceeding in BC Supreme Court to compel all other parties in the proceeding to mediate the matters in the dispute in a private and safe environment.

Previously available as a pilot project in Nanaimo, Duncan, Victoria, Vancouver and New Westminster courts, the Notice to Mediate (Family) Regulation is now effective province wide.

Authority for the regulation is in section 68 of the Law and Equity Act, RSBC 1996, c. 253.

History

Section 2 of the Notice to Mediate (Family) Regulation, BC Reg. #296/2007, effective November 1, 2007 (BC Gazette Part II, v. 50, p. 429), originally stated:

This regulation applies to family law proceedings commenced in the Nanaimo registry.
 

BC Reg. #43/2008, effective April 1, 2008 (BC Gazette Part II, v. 51, p. 100) repealed and replaced section 2 with:

    This regulation applies to family law proceedings commenced in any of the following registries:
        (a) The Nanaimo registry;
        (b) the Duncan registry;
        (c) the Victoria registry.

BC Reg. #294/2008, effective January 1, 2009 (BC Gazette Part II, v. 51, p. 655) repealed and replaced section 2 with:

    This regulation applies to family law proceedings commenced in any of the following registries:
        (a) the Duncan registry;
        (b) the Nanaimo registry;
        (c) the New Westminster registry;
        (d) the Vancouver registry;
        (e) the Victoria registry.

BC Reg. #66/2012, effective March 30, 2012 (BC Gazette Part II) repealed and replaced section 2 with:

This regulation applies to family law proceedings.

General information

The Notice to Mediate (Family) Regulation applies to any family law proceeding in B.C. Supreme Court.

The notice can be used at any time between 90 days after the filing of the first response to family claim and 90 days before the date of trial, unless the court orders that it can be used before or after this time frame.

There is a required screening process before the is mediation held. This pre-mediation meeting is conducted by the mediators with each party to screen for power imbalances, domestic violence and abuse. The mediator can end any mediation process if they see symptoms of these issues.

The party who wishes to mediate must deliver the notice to the other party in the proceedings, and both parties must agree on a mediator within 14 days of the notice being served. If both parties cannot agree on a mediator within 14 days, they may apply to a roaster organization designated by the justice to appoint a mediator, such as Mediate BC Society.

Exemptions to the requirement to attend a pre-mediation meeting and a mediation session are allowed in limited circumstances, such as when all parties have already participated in a mediation session in relation to the same dispute or if a judge orders that one or more parties are exempt from attending the mediation. 

The notice can only be used once in connection with the same family law proceeding, unless the court orders otherwise.

A party can apply to the court for an order that the mediation be adjourned to a later date. In deciding whether to grant an adjournment, the court must take into account whether the mediation will more likely be successful if it is postponed to allow parties to acquire more information.

If a party fails to comply with a provision of the Notice to Mediate (Family) Regulation, any of the other parties may file an allegation of default and make application to the court for an order.

The cost of the mediation must be paid equally by parties, unless parties agree to some other cost-sharing arrangement.

Parties will also have to pay for their lawyers if they represent parties at the mediation.

 

References
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