“Mediation and other forms of alternate dispute resolution are greatly encouraged in family matters because disposition of family disputes often occurs more quickly with less cost to the parties and to the justice system as a whole. Further, because parties fashion solutions to the problems they face with the help of an experienced mediator, parties are more satisfied with the solutions they reach. As discussed below, the FLA (section 4) specifically sets out principles in support of alternate dispute resolution in family matters.”


Family mediation is a process in which those involved in the restructuring of a family, retain an impartial third party to help work through their unresolved issues and points of conflict and to assist them to craft durable solutions which are best for their family. Conflict within the family can occur for many different reasons; most commonly it results from a significant change in the family system, such as new marriages and blending families, separating or divorcing parents, estate planning, the loss of a loved one, or a change in elder parental care.

Arlene has been mediating family matters with care and attention for 20 years. Working primarily in joint session she is able to assist the parties to better communicate with one another and to provide clarity that might not otherwise be realized by those caught in the emotional complexities of their conflict. Through the mediation process, Arlene conducts confidential pre-mediation interviews with everyone involved to prepare them for the mediation and to better understand all points of view, before working diligently with the parties to identify options for resolution. When compared to the court system, family mediation is generally less expensive, more private and more supportive of the exploration of a wider range of creative solutions. The family mediation process won’t impose a resolution on a family, but rather it will help them work together toward an outcome that best suits their unique circumstances.

If you are considering family mediation, please first speak with a lawyer. Your lawyer will help you understand the relevant laws in BC and your rights and your obligations with respect to your family. This will help to ensure that you will be negotiating in the mediations session from a fully informed position.