Separation and divorce
Family mediation: How much does it cost?
Whether you’re married or in a de facto relationship, the Ministère de la Justice du Québec funds free family mediation when you go through a divorce or separation. The number of free hours depends on your situation.
You have a right to free mediation hours
Whether you’re married or in a de facto relationship, you have a right to a limited number free family mediation hours when you go through a divorce or separation.
These free hours are funded by the Ministère de la Justice du Québec. This includes mediation sessions and the work that the mediator does outside of the sessions (for example, the time spent on preparing a summary of agreements).
Over the course of the sessions, the mediator will tell you how many free hours you have left.
The number of free hours depends on your situation
With common dependent children
3 free hours
For a first agreement in the context of a divorce or separation (for example, you discuss the division of property or spousal support).
Without common dependent children
5 free hours
For a first agreement in the context of your separation or divorce (for example, the first time you discuss child custody, spousal support, or the division of your property).
2.5 free hours
- to modify an existing agreement or a court decision,
- if you and your ex already used the family mediation program and want to go back to mediation to settle another dispute, or
- if you and your ex already used the mediation program to get a separation from bed and board (also called a “legal separation”).
Need more hours?
If you go over the free hours available to you, you must pay a fixed rate of $110 per hour + tax. Accredited mediators cannot charge you more than this amount.
Some fees aren’t covered by the free family mediation program
In addition to extra hours, certain fees aren’t covered by the free family mediation program. For example, you might have to pay for:
- administrative fees (e.g., to open a file, long-distance calls, photocopies, etc.),
- costs and professional fees if you need a court judgment.
Who pays the bill?
If you have to pay fees or extra mediation hours out of pocket, you and your ex must agree on how to split the bill.
You could decide to split the bill evenly or according to each person's income. If you cannot come to an agreement, you can ask the court to decide for you.
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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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