Child Focused Parenting Plan Mediation
Parents trying to settle issues regarding parenting time and decision making may benefit from Parenting Plan Mediation Services offered through the Family Court Counsellors' Office.
This service assists families experiencing separation and divorce with developing a comprehensive parenting plan to give co-parents a roadmap for what parenting is going to look like between the two homes.
The mediator is a neutral third party to who can help parents focus on the best interests of their children to create a parenting plan that helps transition children between homes easily and without conflict. You do not need a court order to access this service.
How can a mediator help?
The mediator can help parents focus on the best interests of the children. A mediator can help you understand that the best parenting plan for you and your children may involve compromise and always involves putting the best interests of your children first.
Sometimes, it can be difficult for parents who are experiencing separation and divorce to separate their feelings of grief or anger at a former spouse or partner from their role as a parent to your children. Having a third party who is focused on the children can help parents step out of the conflict and focus on what is best for their children.
My co-parent and I have more issues than just parenting plans, can the mediator help?
The Parenting Plan Mediation Service is focused on parenting plan development. The Mediator cannot help with other issues like child support, spousal support, matrimonial property or personal conflict.
If you need assistance with issues relating to Child Support, you may contact the Child Support Services Office for information and assistance with preparing applications to the court to establish or vary child support obligations.
Does Mediation work for everyone?
Mediation does not work for everyone. The circumstances of each family is different and sometimes, parties may not be at a point where they are able to come to agreement or even in a place where they are open to the idea of agreeing with their co-parent. For more information about preparing for mediation, please visit: Preparing for Parenting Plan Mediation.
Sometimes, the mediator may also determine that mediation is not appropriate right now for you and your co-parent. This may happen because of issues of family violence or because the mediator determines that one or both parents may not be ready to mediate.
I'm not sure I'm ready to mediate, are there any resources that may help me?
The Family Court Counsellor’s Office has a number of resources to assist families with parenting from two homes, parenting through conflict and with learning skills to deal with conflict. These include:
You can also find more resources at:
Is there a fee for this service?
There is no fee.
Do I need a lawyer during mediation?
A mediator may offer neutral legal information but does not take the place of a lawyer or represent either parent in the mediation process. You are each encouraged to seek independent legal advice throughout the mediation process and review your final mediated agreement with your lawyer before signing.
What type of parenting plan will the Mediator help me develop?
The Parenting Plan Mediation Service recommends the Parenting Plan Template developed by the Family Conciliation Courts of Ontario (AFCCO). AFCCO has some good information about things to consider when developing a parenting plan. The AFCCO Template is a comprehensive plan that looks at a number of issues and things that parents needs to agree on including:
- When the child will spend time with each parent;
- How decisions about the child are made;
- How information is shared and communicated by the parents;
- How other parenting issues may be addressed; and
- How future disagreements about the children are to be resolved.
Please consider reading their guidebook before your mediation: AFCC Parenting Plan Guide
What if mediation does not work?
Parenting Plan Mediation is focused on trying to assist the parents with developing a parenting plan. A good parenting plan helps provide stability and protect the best interests of the child. If the mediator is not able to assist the parties with coming to an agreement, the Mediator will end the mediation and encourage the parties to seek legal advice about seeking a court ordered parenting plan.
Who do I contact about the Parenting Plan Mediation service?
Family Court Counsellors' Office
Family Law Centre (Charlottetown)
Phone: (902) 368-6928