RESOLUTION TOOLS Dialogue Tool Mediation Tool

There are people trained to help you.

Other resources

Mediation

Here are a few ways to find a mediator:

  • If you know someone who used a mediator and was happy with them, ask for the mediator’s name and contact information.
  • Use Mediate BC to find a qualified family mediator and learn about mediation and how it works.
  • Visit Family Mediation Canada to find information about qualified family mediators.
  • Call the Lawyer Referral Service to get the name and contact information of a lawyer who is also trained as a mediator. The lawyer will talk with you in person for 30 minutes. This meeting is free.
  • Type “family mediator” and the name of your area into an online search engine.

Legal help

Legal Aid BC (Legal Services Society)

Call our Provincial call centre to find out if you qualify for the services below.

604-408-2172 (Greater Vancouver)
1-866-577-2525 (elsewhere in BC)

Free legal advice

You may be able to get legal advice from family lawyers called duty counsel. Family duty counsel are available in Provincial Court and Supreme Court. Some locations have expanded duty counsel, which means you can make an appointment to see duty counsel even if you aren’t in court. Family duty counsel are available in court locations across BC.

Family LawLINE

You may also be able to get free legal advice from a family lawyer over the phone. If you qualify you’ll get brief “next step” advice. To find out if you’re eligible, call the Legal Aid call centre during the hours below.

  • Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays: 9 am to 3 pm
  • Wednesdays: 9 am to 2:30 pm

A free lawyer to take your case

If family violence is an issue, you may be able to get a lawyer to take your case.

Access Pro Bono Society of BC

You may be able to get free legal advice or help preparing for court. These services are for people who don’t qualify for legal aid but can’t afford a lawyer.

604-878-7400 (Greater Vancouver)
1-877-762-6664 (elsewhere in BC)

Unbundled Legal Services

See the Unbundled Legal Services website for a list of family lawyers and paralegals in BC who can provide you with limited legal services at reasonable rates if you can’t afford to hire a lawyer for your whole case.

Child Support Officers

Child support officers help parents make agreements about child support or get child support orders. They provide free information and referrals and help with negotiations.

Greater Vancouver: 604-660-2421
Greater Victoria: 250-387-6121
Elsewhere in BC: 1-800-663-7867

Family Justice Counsellors

Family justice counsellors help you plan a separation agreement and give free mediation and conciliation services. They can give you information about the law and about family court processes. They can also help you fill out court forms.

Greater Vancouver: 604-660-2421
Greater Victoria: 250-387-6121
Elsewhere in BC: 1-800-663-7867

Justice Access Centres

Staff in these offices help you get the information you need to prepare for your family or civil case. They provide free advice, mediation and referrals, and help you fill out forms. Justice Access Centres are in Nanaimo, Vancouver, and Victoria.

Nanaimo: 250-741-5447 or 1-800-578-8511
Vancouver: 604-660-2084 or 1-800-663-7867 (ask to be transferred to the number for Vancouver)
Victoria: 250-356-7012 or 1-800-663-7867 (ask to be transferred to the number for Victoria)

Lawyer Referral Service

The Lawyer Referral Service can help you find a lawyer, including a collaborative family lawyer. They’ll give you the name and number of a lawyer who practises family law. You’ll have to phone the lawyer to make an appointment. You can meet with the lawyer for 30 minutes to explain your situation. This meeting is free.

Greater Vancouver: 604-687-3221
Elsewhere in BC: 1-800-663-1919 

Hours
8:30am – 5pm (Monday – Friday)

You can also email.


Parenting After Separation classes

Parenting After Separation is a free, three-hour information session for BC parents going through a separation. The class explains the effects of separation on parents and their children. It gives you effective ways to communicate and solve problems in parenting situations. It also gives you the tools you need to help your children through the separation and to develop a healthy family dynamic.

The class is available for any parents in BC going through a separation. It’s available through Family Justice Centres across BC and can also be taken online.

Parenting After Separation handbook

Even if you don’t go to the course, you may find the Parenting After Separation handbook helpful. It has information on how to take care of yourself and your children during the separation or divorce process. And it has tips for parents on how they can work together to keep their children’s best interests in mind.


Free publications about family law

There are several Legal Aid publications about family law.

Family Law in BC: Quick Reference Tool

This set of postcards introduces you to family law in BC. Each card covers different legal aspects of separation.

Living Together or Living Apart

This booklet explains the basics of family law in BC. It has more information on the legal aspects of separation and what your options are.

Separation Agreements: Your Rights and Options

This booklet explains the law about the fair division of family property or debt when you separate. It tells you what to do if you think your agreement might be unfair.


Family law online

Family Law in BC

This website has comprehensive information on family law in BC, including on separation and divorce. It has step-by-step guides to walk you through legal processes, including links to the forms you need.

Families Change

This website has information for children and for parents. It tells you what to expect from the divorce or separation process. And it has information on how you can take care of yourself and your children.