Premier Kathleen Wynne to improve access to justice for Ontarians by increasing awareness of alternate dispute processes in Family Law
TORONTO, ON – SEPT. 9 2015 – The Family Dispute Resolution Institute of Ontario (FDRIO) will open its first ever conference and Family Dispute Resolution Week on November 23, 2015 with Premier Kathleen Wynne, a former mediator herself, giving the keynote address. When a couple divorces, going to court is not the only option. Other dispute resolution methods include mediation, arbitration, parenting coordination, and collaborative practice.
FDRWeek will continue until November 27, and will have events for both family dispute professionals and the general public in Toronto, Durham, Ottawa, Newmarket, and Barrie among others.
There is a dire need for Ontarians to gain access to these services.
While the Canadian divorce rate has levelled off at 38%, 80% of those in Family Court are so-called Self-Represented Litigants—those who cannot afford a lawyer, according to Lorne Sossin, Dean of Osgoode Hall Law School. Many are new Canadians, whose first language is not English, as well as those with low income. A great many cases involve mental health challenges, family violence, and limited access to legal and dispute resolution options.
FDRIO is a new not-for-profit designed to bring all professionals in the family dispute resolution field together for more powerful advocacy about the many benefits of resolving cases out of court.
The conference will feature industry leaders from a range of conflict resolution processes, and is open to the public. Attorney General Madeleine Meilleur will be the luncheon speaker.
FDRIO aims to help educate the public about the costs and benefits of each dispute resolution process available in family law cases. The organization also seeks to help the public identify those rare cases when going to court is the best option, and to provide information that will help unrepresented parties better navigate the system.
Premier Wynne was a volunteer mediator at St. Stephen’s Community House in Toronto.
The full conference program is here.
To register for Family Dispute Resolution week events, click here.
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