Expand your skill set.
This 40-hour interactive course offers a comprehensive introduction to the arbitration of family law disputes in Canada, and includes optional six-hour pre-course programs for lawyers and mental health professionals interested in working as parenting coordinators.
The National Family Law Arbitration Course is taught by leading family law arbitrators, mental health professionals and academics, and is provided by videoconference over three pairs of Fridays and Saturdays spread over five weeks.
Save the date! The next National Family Law Arbitration Course will begin on Friday 21 October 2022. Pre-course programs begin on Friday 7 October 2022. Registration is now open.
The 2022 National Family Law Arbitration Course has been moved to run in October and November instead of February and March. Registration is open! Bookmark this page for updates and faculty announcements.
New! A special, full-day advanced program, Issues in Mediation-Arbitration, will run on Friday 13 May 2022.
Courses in arbitration practice are available from organizations across Canada. While these courses are of a uniformly high quality, their primary focus is on the arbitration of employment, construction and other corporate and commercial disputes. Family law disputes, however, have important differences that set them apart and demand a special approach to their management and resolution. Family law cases cannot be handled with the same off-the-shelf approach that might be used to resolve other civil cases.
The National Family Law Arbitration Course provides a complete introduction to the arbitration of family law disputes and the unique skills, processes and procedures these cases require. This course provides the opportunity to learn from senior family law lawyers with established arbitration practices in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba and Ontario in an interactive remote learning environment. Superior court judges will address the role of the court in arbitration processes, and experienced mental health professionals will explore the impacts and implications of domestic violence. Download the syllabus for the 2022 course.
This course includes two optional pre-course programs for those interested in practicing as parenting coordinators, one directed to lawyers and taught by mental health professionals working in the area of family breakdown, and another directed to mental health professionals and taught by seasoned family law lawyers.
Participants in the 2021 course rated the course and its impact on their knowledge of the subject matter very highly:
- 78% of participants who completed our feedback survey described the materials as very relevant and 22% described them as relevant,
- 84% strongly agreed that the course increased their knowledge of the subject matter and 16% agreed that it increased their knowledge, and
- 96% said they would strongly encourage or encourage others to take the course.
The pre-course programs for those interested in parenting coordination will run in January 2022.
The basics of psychology for family law lawyers, 7 October 2022
The basics of family law for mental health professionals, 8 October 2022
The 2022 National Family Law Arbitration Course will run on selected Fridays and Saturdays, starting in October:
Day One and Day Two, 21 and 22 October 2022
Day Three and Day Four, 4 and 5 November 2022
Day Five and Day Six, 18 and 19 November 2022
New program! Issues in mediation-arbitration
A special, full-day advanced program, Issues in Mediation-Arbitration will run on Friday 13 May 2022. Topics to be discussed include:
- Drafting and enforcing participation clauses in separation agreements
- Drafting participation agreements
- Options for mediation-arbitration processes
- Managing family violence concerns in mediation-arbitration processes
- Transitioning between mediation and arbitration
- Ethical considerations in mediation-arbitration
Check back for syllabus and faculty updates.
Organizers and steering committee
The organizers of this course are John-Paul Boyd QC of John-Paul Boyd Arbitration Chambers in Alberta and British Columbia, Lawrence Pinsky of Taylor McCaffrey LLP in Manitoba, and Lorne Wolfson of Torkin Manes in Ontario.
The members of the steering committee for inaugural course were Wayne Barkauskas QC, Professor Rachel Birnbaum, Tom Dart, Herschel Fogelman, Aaron Franks, Cheryl Goldhart, Stephen Grant, Arlene Henry QC, Alf Mamo, Danny Melamed, Doug Moe QC, Krysta Ostwald QC, Eugene Raponi QC, Brahm Siegel, and Bryan Smith.
The 2021 National Family Law Arbitration Course was accredited by the Law Society of British Columbia as providing 40 hours of training in family law arbitration, and the pre-course program on the basics of psychology for family law lawyers is accredited for six hours of parenting coordination training. The course was also approved by the Family Dispute Resolution Institute of Ontario and satisfies the course requirements for those seeking their FDRIO FDRP-Arb certification.
Accreditations for the 2022 course will be posted shortly.