There are several ways parents and other important caregivers may resolve family law issues such as parenting arrangements, child support, spousal support, and division of family property and debts, out of court.

The Divorce Act uses the term family dispute resolution process to describe the ways family law issues may be solved without going to court.  That law says you need to try to solve family law issues using family dispute resolution, if it is appropriate.  Your lawyer also has a duty to tell you about ways to solve family disputes without court, if those options are appropriate in your situation.

Family mediation and collaborative family law are two non-court family dispute resolution options.  We talk about these options below.   You can find out about other family dispute resolution options at

Last reviewed: April 2021
Reviewed for legal accuracy by: Lawyer Shelley Hounsell-Gray, QC

Thank you to Justice Canada for funding to help update our legal information on divorce.