The Family Law Act requires that family dispute resolution professionals – for example lawyers, mediators and arbitrators – screen for whether family violence is present and if present, the extent to which family violence may affect the safety of the party or a family member and on the ability of the party to negotiate a fair agreement.
Screening involves each party a meeting with the screener separately. For family mediations I do the screening myself and incorporate it into a pre-mediation meeting. For parties who are opting for arbitration or mediation-arbitration (med-arb), I will designate a person who will see each party individually. I will consider a screening report in determining whether the process can proceed safely and take into account the screening report in structuring the process. Screening may take 1 to 1.5 hours and there is a charge for the screening.