Family Dispute Resolution Institute of Ontario (FDRIO) and Family Mediation Canada (FMC) ink “Associate Agreement”
TORONTO, ONTARIO – May 22, 2018 – Family Mediation Canada (FMC) and the Family Dispute Resolution Institute of Ontario (FDRIO) have signed an agreement to promote jointly family mediation and other forms of family dispute resolution. Each organization will be an “associate” of the other.
Family Mediation Canada has about 450 members from all across Canada. FDRIO has about 200 members in Ontario.
“FMC and FDRIO are a great fit. We complement each other and we advocate for the same things. Since we both promote family mediation rather than the court-based divorce process, it made sense to join efforts to promote benefits of mediation,” says Lorne Wolfson, chair of FDRIO and a family law lawyer at Torkin Manes LLP.
“FMC and FDRIO both share the same goals: to support those in alternate dispute resolution fields to assist their clients in settling family law disputes outside of traditional litigation. This saves time, money and emotional resources, but most importantly, reduces conflict between parents which puts the emotional well-being of children first,” says Tamara Bodnaruk-Wide, president of FMC and director of AXIS Family Mediation, which is the court connected mediation service at 7 family courts in Ontario.
Highlights of the associate agreement include:
- Each organization will have a member on the other’s Board of Directors.
- FMC and FDRIO will co-sponsor lobbying efforts regarding legislation and the expansion and funding of mediation and other forms of family dispute resolution.
- Co-sponsoring of seminars and training programs, where feasible
- Coordination of communication and cross-promotion of relevant initiatives and programs.
There are many synergies between the two organizations. In addition to traditional certification in both Family Relations and Comprehensive family mediation, FMC offers its members training in four other highly specialized areas including: Elder Mediation; International Custody Mediation; Aboriginal Community Mediation; and Child Protection. FDRIO offers its members Ontario’s only professional certification in the growing field of Parenting Coordination as well as professional family mediation and arbitration designations.
When a couple divorces, going to court is rarely the best option. Alternative dispute resolution methods include mediation, arbitration, and collaborative practice. While the Canadian divorce rate has remained constant at about 38% for decades, 80% of those in Family Court are self-represented, according to Lorne Sossin, Dean of Osgoode Hall Law School.
There is a dire need for Ontarians to know about mediation, arbitration and med-arb, and to know where to find these services. For example, mediation is free in every family court, offering litigants the chance to settle limited issues before the court; here is a list, by city, of mediators made available by the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General. And the Ontario government funds and regulates subsidized mediation across the province for everyone who is not in court.
About Family Mediation Canada
Established in 1985, Family Mediation Canada is the national voice for family mediation, offering varying levels and types of internationally recognized certification. Setting standard for professional conduct and ethics, FMC helps mediators help families.
FMC helps to shape public policy through ongoing research on issues impacting family mediation. FMC consults and collaborates with Federal and Provincial Governments on mediation-related issues as well as other like-minded organizations and agencies.
FMC offers its members professional development through conferences, webinars and other continuing education, networking opportunities, peer support, newsletters, discounted brochure and professional publications and other resources. http://www.fmc.ca [website is under renovation].
About Family Dispute Resolution Institute of Ontario (FDRIO)
FDRIO is a not-for-profit designed to bring all Ontario professionals in the family dispute resolution field together for more powerful advocacy about the many benefits of resolving cases out of court.
FDRIO aims to help educate the public about the costs and benefits of each dispute resolution process available in family law cases. It seeks to help the public identify when going to court is the best option, and to provide information that will help unrepresented parties better navigate the legal system.
FDRIO offers its members: harmonized training and certification standards; progressive standards of practice for FDR Professionals; discounted entry to its conference; networking, volunteer, and marketing opportunities; free webinars; opportunity to participate in sections, committees, and the Board of directors. www.fdrio.ca