1 Westmount Square, Westmount | 12275 Av. Armand-Chaput, Montreal (RDP-PAT)12275 Av. Armand-Chaput, RDP-PAT(514) 989-1200 ccouturier@pubnix.net
Christian Couturier
Collaborative Lawyer and Certified Mediator

Conflict Resolution – Mediation – Collaborative Divorce
Collaborative Separation – Negotiation out of Court

For the Well-Being of the Family

Family Mediation

Married spouses and common-law spouses may choose to negotiate and to settle the issues and the consequences of their separation by undertaking family mediation. The topics discussed and negotiated may be the parental authority, the sharing of time between the parents and their children, the child support for the children and the special expenses related to them, the division of the family patrimony, the division of other assets and debts, and spousal support, also known as alimony. What is said in mediation is confidential.

The fees of the mediator are paid by the ministry of Justice in the following cases:

  • 5 hours of mediation, including all the time past by the mediator for the work done outside the sessions, for married spouses and common-law spouses who have at least one child under their care and have not had a judgment; and
  • 2 and a half hours of mediation, including all the time past by the mediator for the work done outside the sessions, to modify a judgment or an agreement for parents having at least one child under their care.

Above and beyond the 5 hours of mediation or the 2 and a half hours of mediation to modify a judgment or an agreement, the fees payable by the parents to the mediator, according to the tariff determined by the Regulation respecting family mediation, are $110 per hour for a mediation session and for all work done by the mediator outside the sessions.

During the mediation sessions, the parents/spouses share information, bring the pertinent documents, communicate their needs and those of their children, evaluate the options brought at the mediation table, the whole to be able to take enlightened decisions and negotiate amicable agreements. A mediator is impartial and acts as a facilitator. Once the parents/spouses have concluded their final agreements, as mediator I thereafter prepare and draft the Summary of Mediated Agreements that I read, sign and give to each of them. That document is in fact the result of their agreements and it ends their mediation.

Married spouses and common-law spouses who do not have any children, or who do not have any under their care may also undertake mediation to negotiate agreements. For married spouses the topics to be negotiated may be the partition of the family patrimony, the division of other assets and debts and spousal support. For common-law spouses the topics to be negotiated may be  the division of assets and debts, and unjust enrichment.

Separating and divorcing is obviously not easy. It entails restructuring and reorganizing the spouses/parents’ life and the children’s life. There are legal aspects further to a separation. Since I am a lawyer, in my role as a mediator I can give legal information to the parents/spouses in order to help them in their decision making; but in order to maintain my impartiality I cannot give them legal advice or legal opinions.

As a family mediator, at one and the same time I have to manage the conflicts of the parents/spouses while assisting them in resolving them and reach a settlement. Therefore, moving gradually from a confused situation (which expresses itself in many shapes and forms: such as uncertainties, unknowns, doubts, misunderstandings, misinterpretations, preoccupations, fears, anger and sadness) to a more stable situation when those states of mind have been addressed and have been either lessened or eliminated. This then allows to have a dialogue tracking down options and choosing from them the solutions. The more the spouses/parents cooperate, the more they will be able to have a win-win agreement.

As a mediator, I offer a structure and a framework enabling the parents/spouses: 1) to define the needs and the interests from which they want to  negotiate, 2) to move towards the evaluation and the study of options, and 3) to choose amongst those options their solutions.

Good reasons to choose family mediation

It’s what you think is best for you and your children

Decisions taken in light of the children’s interests and needs

Decisions taken in light of the spouses’ interests and needs

To maintain your parental image

To maintain your parental relationship

To share information

To communicate documents

To have private and confidential negotiations

To negotiate in the presence of a mediator

To benefit from the impartiality of the mediator

The mediator is a facilitator

To have a structure and a framework in which to negotiate

Free mediation up to either 5 hours or 2 hours and a half, including the time spent by the mediator for his work outside the sessions, for parents having at least one child under their care

To share the fees and the disbursements owing to the mediator

To empower yourself in the decision making

You decide your own solutions, not the judge

To settle amicably

To have custom-made agreements

To regain harmony

To regain peace of mind

To avoid legal procedures

To minimize the legal costs

To avoid court delays

Not having the stress of preparing to go to court and going to court