A new service is available to assist families in Victoria with mediation and conflict resolution.
The Victoria Early Resolution and Case Management Model will help people who want to resolve family law matters. The model, developed by the Ministry of Attorney General, the Provincial Court and others in the justice sector, provides family justice services including assessment, mediation and parenting education. It will lead to a more efficient court system by providing mediation-focused services before parties enter a courtroom.
“This model is one more way we are improving services for families in British Columbia,” said David Eby, Attorney General. “This new approach to resolving family disputes keeps the focus on the best interests of children and families, and could transform our approach to family justice in our province.”
The model assists with family law matters, such as child and spousal support, parenting arrangements, contact and guardianship. Participants can call or visit the Victoria Justice Access Centre (JAC) for an early needs assessment to identify legal and non-legal issues. After the assessment, parties will be referred to free parenting education and, if appropriate, may participate in at least one consensual dispute resolution session and receive the services of a child support officer. Other available options are to hire private mediators or participate in a process under a collaborative law agreement.
“The Provincial Court of British Columbia strives to serve the public by providing an accessible, fair, efficient and innovative system of justice,” said Susan Wishart, Associate Chief Judge. “Consistent with that approach, the court is committed to exploring initiatives, such as this one, that seek to support access to justice by providing increased tools to assist with the constructive resolution of family law disputes.”
The JAC is located in the Victoria Law Courts building. Based on the results of the Victoria model, similar projects may be rolled out throughout the province.
To learn more about the Early Resolution and Case Management Model, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/victoria-early-resolution.