Separation and divorce
Choosing your family mediator
Have you and your ex chosen to use family mediation to settle the various aspects of your breakup? Here are some criteria to consider when choosing a mediator that will best suit your needs.
Choose a professional who suits your needs
In Quebec, a family mediator can be a legal professional (lawyer or notary) or a psychosocial professional (social worker, psychologist, psychoeducator, guidance counsellor, or couple and family therapist). Some CIUSSS and CISSS employees can also become family mediators.
Regardless of the profession, family mediators have at least 60 hours of training on the financial, legal, fiscal, psychological, and psychosocial aspects of a breakup.
A mediator's professional experience can influence his or her mediation style and approach. We therefore recommend that you choose a mediator according to the expertise that best corresponds your needs.
Make sure the mediator is accredited
In Quebec, family mediators must be accredited, i.e., recognized by the Ministère de la Justice.
To find out if a family mediator is accredited, you can use the search engine provided by the Ministère de la Justice du Québec: Search for family mediator - French only (Justice Québec).
In-person or remote mediation? Choose the option that suits you best
Family mediators can hold their sessions in person or remotely, for example by telephone or videoconference.
If you have a preference, speak to the mediator before making an appointment.
In the case of in-person mediation, make sure that the location of the meetings is convenient for you and your ex (e.g., halfway between your respective homes or places of work).
Find a mediator who makes you feel comfortable
Your mediator will guide you through an important stage of your life. Be sure to choose someone who makes you feel comfortable.
Feel free to call several mediators to compare their approaches and make sure you have a good rapport with them.
Ask about the mediator’s fees
Ask the mediator if he or she participates in the subsidized family mediation program set up by the Ministère de la Justice du Québec.
If so, you could receive a certain number of free family mediation hours. The mediator will charge you for any additional hours at the regulated hourly rate of $130, plus tax.
If the mediator doesn’t participate in the program, you’ll have to pay the fees the mediator charges you. If that’s the case, ask about the mediator’s fees, because they can vary.
Get your ex involved in choosing a mediator
The mediator you choose must also suit your ex. Neither of you can unilaterally impose your choice on the other person.
If you’re the one doing the search, you can propose a selection of family mediators so that your ex can choose the one that suits him or her best.
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The information presented on this page is not a legal opinion or legal advice. This page explains in a general way the law that applies in Quebec. To obtain a legal opinion or legal advice on your personal situation, consult a legal professional.
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