Using the Family Resolution Centre

The Family Resolution Centre is 100% free! We won't ask for any payment information, and there are no paid premium features. If you're happy with our service, we gratefully accept donations here.

Yes. You can use any computer that's connected to the Internet. There are public computers at libraries and hotel business centres. But always remember to log off your session so that you don’t accidentally share any private information.

You and the other parent will each need a working email address and access to a computer with an Internet connection.

If you're making child support arrangements, you'll need detailed tax and financial records from the last three years.

Yes, because you want them to participate and be involved! Once you finish intake, the system will send an email inviting the other parent to make an account and join in the process. If they know you're using the FRC, they’ll know to expect the email, and it won’t come as a surprise.

If you're unsure how to approach the other parent about this, How to get the other parent involved talks about different ways to reach out. Your mediator can also help you reach out to the other parent.

Separated couples can still use the FRC as long as one parent and the child(ren) live in BC.

A relationship with a balance of power is one where both people can contribute their thoughts, opinions, and feelings equally. We built the FRC with the idea of two parents having a conversation on an equal footing. If there is an imbalance of power, one parent can dominate and control the conversation and overrule what the other parent wants.

Before you start the FRC, you can assess your situation to see if an imbalance of power might be an issue. Mediators will also evaluate a power imbalance and use techniques to give make sure both parents are being heard and that the outcomes reasonable.

First, they should check to see if the invitation email is in their junk mail or spam folder. If it isn't there, you can email their name and email address to FamilyResolutionCentre@legalaid.bc.ca so we can send another invitation.

There a few options for you if you get stuck navigating the Family Resolution Centre. You can try using this guide, or you can contact Program Support at FamilyResolutionCentre@legalaid.bc.ca

We have a page that includes some helpful tips on reaching out to the other parent, or you can ask your FRC mediator to help bring the other parent into the process.

In some cases, the other parent may refuse to use the FRC. The Family Law in BC website has information on additional resources to help you in that situation.

Yes! Sign in, and click the “hamburger menu” (three horizontal lines) at the top left of the screen, then "start parenting arrangements," then choose "Child support." You'll have to fill out the forms again. You can also choose to revisit your parenting plan and include child support by selecting "Parenting arrangements” and “Child support.”


Making parenting arrangements

Parenting arrangements cover critical aspects of your child's life, such as how you make decisions about your child’s well-being, who takes care of your child when, and who can transport your child. You'll be able to make a schedule and write in exceptions and special rules as you write parenting arrangements.

Yes, you can. For example, you can include a clause that any travel arrangements are subject to BC public health orders and recommendations (you can specify if you want), including social distancing, essential travel, masking, and hand washing.

Yes, you can propose additional terms and special circumstances, including plans for a specific trip.

Yes, you can. Here’s an example: Parent A and Parent B agree that Parent A will have weekends with the child when Parent A is not working, as agreed upon between them once Parent A's schedule is available. For summer and Fall of 2021, Parent A and Parent B agree that Parent A will have the following weekends with [child/children]: (list dates.)


Making child support arrangements

A child support agreement covers who pays child support, how much, how they pay it, and a payment schedule. You'll also be able to decide how you pay for special or extraordinary expenses such as healthcare premiums, educational fees, and extracurricular activities such as sports league payments.

It might! There are different cases where child support can continue past age 19. Like if your child is attending school or can't take care of themselves because of disability, illness, or other reasons.

Read more: When does child support end?

Yes, but you may have to apply to become the child’s guardian first to work out the parenting arrangements. You can also use the FRC in other situations for stepchildren, such as working out child support. It can be complicated, but the mediator can help guide you.

Please read: Step Parents' rights and responsibilities on the Family Law Website.

Yes, but it will take some manual work. Once you have used the FRC to determine the monthly child support amount, you can calculate what you are owed in outstanding child support payments. You can then use the "Special and extraordinary expenses" or "additional terms" sections to add the amount to your agreement.

Speak to your mediator about options and how to proceed. You may have to go to court if you don’t have enough financial disclosure.

Discuss it with the other parent or with your mediator. Your mediator can also help you have the discussion with the other parent and come to an agreement about the income that should be used for calculating child support.

When you’re exchanging proposals with the other parent, there’s a general legal rule that says if you’re trying to reach a settlement with someone else in a legal dispute, your communications can’t be used against you in court. This rule is called settlement privilege. Any communications that can’t be used as evidence in court under this rule are privileged (can’t be used against you in court).

For more information about how settlement privilege works, see Can your spouse use your settlement talks against you in court? on the Family Law in BC website.

In mediation, there are strict confidentiality rules that you agree to before starting mediation. Those confidentiality rules also apply to parents using the Family Resolution Centre even if you don’t choose to ask for a mediator (for example, you can’t screenshot, copy, or print any data).


Working with a mediator

Mediation is a way for you to try to resolve an issue without having to go to court. A family law mediator is specially trained to help people settle their family conflicts. The mediator doesn’t take sides and won't make decisions for you.

The mediator will speak to each of you privately first to make sure they understand your situation and what’s important to you. They will help you and the other parent talk through your disagreements and find a solution that works for your family and is in the best interest of your children. They'll do this by creating a safe, confidential, and communicative process to help you reach an agreement with the other parent.

Feel free to contact your mediator in the chat right away! It might take a few days for a mediator to become available for your case, but it's okay to wait for a reply before you get started. Make sure to pay attention to any deadlines at the top of the page. If a deadline is coming up, you can ask for an extension.

While the mediator can help answer your questions, they will need to engage with both of you before they can mediate. It can be helpful for the mediator to read proposed agreements from you and your ex, so they can understand where you're both coming from at the start.


If you both agree: next steps

Congratulations! It’s a good idea to have a lawyer look at your agreement before you sign it.

Now, go to this page and follow the instructions to get a signature page to add to your agreement. You'll need access to a printer and someone over the age of 19 to witness the agreement.


If you can’t both agree: next steps

If you and the other parent can't agree about all your issues, you can invite a mediator into the process. The mediator will review each of your proposals and help you come to an agreement. This free mediation can help you work through your disagreements.

If you still can't agree after working with your mediator, you can get a summary of the work you've done to that point. Your mediator can refer you to other resources or services that can help you.

If you or the other parent ends the session, you both lose access to the chat. You can still see the summary of your proposals, which you can download from the Files tab. You can share your own proposal, but you must keep the other parent’s proposal confidential. If you're working with a mediator, your mediator will try to help with next steps or referrals.

Your mediator can draft a parenting agreement for you to sign. You can also ask for a certificate confirming that you’ve tried consensual dispute resolution (CDR), if you need to go to court to get orders about child support.


Troubleshooting

On the Family Resolution Centre login page, click the Forgot password? button, and follow the instructions to reset your password.

Check your Spam or Junk folder first. If the emails are not there, then notify MyLawBC@legalaid.bc.ca and provide them with a different email address to use.

This is likely due to an interruption in your Internet connection. Try refreshing your browser. If that doesn’t work, log off and then log back in. If the comment still doesn’t show up, you’ll have to type it again.

No. Your Chats can be as long as you like. It's a good idea to keep to one idea per chat as this helps you both focus on the issue you're discussing.


Privacy and security

Protecting your personal information is our top priority. MyLawBC’s Family Resolution Centre can only work because of the trust you place in us. We designed it so that your personal information is secure.

We keep all the information you give us on secure servers in Canada. These servers follow the ISO 27001 security standard to make sure your information is safe.

For more information on how we store and use your information, see our Privacy Policy.

No. Your chats in the private chat room are only seen by your mediator. This private chat room will be called Your name/Mediator.

The other parent will see any files you upload to the main Activity/Chat window or the Files window. Files you upload in the intake process (like your ID) will only be seen by your mediator. (The other parent won't see any of the information you typed in the intake process except your name.)

If you want to share a file only with your mediator, upload it to your private chat (called Your name/Mediator). This ensures that the file is only accessible by you and your Mediator.

All files are securely stored on Cloud servers in Canada.


Feedback and complaints

If you're not satisfied with the mediation services you received, we'd like to know. Email us:

  • Your full name
  • Your case number
  • A clear idea of your experience

We will follow up with you and try to resolve the situation.

Other complaint options

Mediate BC has set some of the highest Standards of Conduct for Mediators and Med-Arb Practitioners in Canada.

Mediate BC complaint process (PDF)