A Father’s Story

In 1987 my wife decided to leave…

We had 3 children. There were a number of reasons, and through talking it out with her we decided it was best for me to have full custody of the children, with her getting weekend and summer visitation. Initially, we involved lawyers which were expensive and made matters worse. By coming to an agreement ourselves, it did make things easier, although it was still very hard. There were no resources to turn to to get help and advice. We basically did it on our own.

Of course, this was nothing compared to becoming a single dad. I was really on my own except for one other single dad. I wasn’t raised to be the full-time parent and to carry a career. But, I did manage to make it through and did alright.

I eventually went on to be an online advisor for single parents and for those separating and divorcing, trying to help other single parents, especially dads. It came in handy when I went through my second divorce having a fourth child.

Workgroups and seminars such as the one the Family Mediation and Resource Centre are offering would have been a valuable and welcome resource back then. Surprisingly, being even needed more today, these types of resources are paramount for divorced and single dads.

If I could offer one piece of advice, it is make every decision based on what is best for the children. What is best for the children, in most cases, is to keep their lives as normal as possible, know that they are not to blame, and make sure they have equal and open access to both parents.

Rob

Check out our FREE events and groups:

Divorced or Separated Dads Group
Family Law Information Session (FLIS) 

Why a Peer Group for Divorced Dads?

While going through divorce, didn’t you always want a well-informed buddy who you can talk, gather information and plan ahead with?

This Divorced Dads Group was motivated by the notable lack of supports for dads experiencing divorce or separation. Its premise is that dads are equally important in their children’s lives and, just like moms or anyone experiencing divorce, dads also need help navigating through all challenges that separation comes with.
This group welcomes dads who have managed to successfully move past their divorce – to share their experience and help others.

Each dad needs different things:

  • Some dads need to share their experiences in a safe space
  • Some dads need to know that they’re not alone during this tough time
  • Some dads need more information about community resources
  • Some dads need to learn of different options to deal with their divorce
  • Some dads need to be heard and not judged
  • Some dads need to bounce ideas around
  • Some dads need to form positive relationships with other like-minded dads
  • Some dads simply need to share a laughter with others who get what he’s going through

The reality is that, sometimes, we all need support. And, you’d be surprised at how much well-informed “strangers” may actually support you more than the people you know.

Dads Peer Group

This group will resume in 2019.  Email us at fmrcentre@gmail.com and we’ll make sure to let you know when it’s starting again!

Fathering during and after divorce or separation – you’re not alone.

Why Join A Peer Group?

Everyone needs support when things get tough; some dads feel isolated and need to connect with other fathers; some need information or new tools; and others simply need to share a laugh with like-minded dads.

The idea is for fathers to have a space where they can share experiences, challenges and information with other dads. It provides opportunities for brainstorming, problem-solving and developing effective ways of dealing with post-separation.

Do I need to come to every group session?

While we welcome attendance at any session,  we recommend that you attend as many sessions as possible to maximize support and build a solid foundation for your post-separation life. There will also be guest speakers and a Holiday Party!

As our space is limited, we do want you to RSVP by sending a quick email to fmrcentre@gmail.com or calling our toll-free at 877-297-3312.

What is the format?

Each week, the group will be led by a peer dad, through a variety of topics. The dad has professional and personal experience with divorce, and is committed to supporting other fathers.

To accommodate diverse topics as those arise, we will not follow a strict curriculum. We will, however, attempt to cover the following discussions:

  • Effects of divorce on children and adults
  • Being a successful dad
  • Coping with divorce or separation
  • Having a quality relationship with children
  • Making co-parenting work
  • Ask a Lawyer: Legal Issues (guest speaker)
  • Avoiding or de-escalating conflict
  • Parenting Skills and Strategies
  • Benefits of fathering to children
  • When co-parenting is not successful
  • Complications of re-partnering or new relationships
  • Controlling emotions
  • Taking the high road for the sake of the children
  • Behaviours to avoid
  • Coping with a new stepfather
  • Ask a dad who’s been there: A dad’s 10-year legal battle (guest speaker)
  • Behaviours that have been shown to create positive outcomes
  • Communication and working as a team
  • Working through the loss of marriage
  • Talking to children about divorce or separation
  • Ask a Divorce Financial Expert: Financial Issues (guest speaker)
  • The benefits of divorce and formulating appropriate supports
  • Creating an effective parenting plan
  • How to handle holidays
  • Managing conflict within the co-parenting relationship
  • Holiday Party

Because men need support too

Thursdays from 6:30pm to 8:30pm
From May 24 to November 15, 2018
at Ajax Public Library

Divorce Information Session

Focusing on divorce options, in-and-out of court.

These sessions are conducted by a family lawyer and provide a general overview of the areas of law that are relevant to separation and divorce, such as the different rights for married couples versus couples who are not married but live together, the law regarding spousal support, child support and support enforcement.

Our dedicated group recognizes that without knowledge – without first having legal information, on the effects of separation and divorce on adults and children; alternatives to litigation; family law issues; the family court system and local resources and programs, people are committed to a system that they never have wanted in the first place.

Pickering Library Central – monthly sessions ( check schedule)

Customized Divorce Information Session (by appointment only)

“…adversarial family law system “appeared to encourage couples to become adversaries to a greater degree than they already are….to aggravate relations with the spouse…and to upset and humiliate people” (pp.214-215).” (Ellis, 2014)

Affordable Family Mediation

Family & Divorce Mediation 

Serving Durham, GTA and Peel Region

FMRC provides a sliding-fee scale family mediation to families experiencing divorce or separation. We provide help with all of your matters, including financials, parenting plans and Separation Agreements (if needed).

Research clearly shows that going to court is committing to an adversarial and conflict ridden process; not to mention, lengthy and costly! We will help you stay out of court and keep control over decisions regarding your family.

What is family mediation?

Family Mediation is a voluntary process where a trained professional, called a mediator, helps participants to negotiate a mutually acceptable agreement.  A mediator, unlike a judge or arbitrator, will not make decisions for you. You and your partner decide what will happen for your family. The mediator will act as a facilitator and referee, to help guide you regarding personal decisions for your lives and those whom you love. The key is: You and your partner maintain control over the outcome.

How does family mediation work?

Each party describes the dispute from his or her own point of view and offers possible solutions. The mediator helps the parties to focus on the real issues causing the problem and then helps them to find a workable solution(s). When the parties arrive at an agreement, the agreement is put in writing.

How do you begin the process?

Contact us to schedule an intake meeting. If you have a lawyer, ask him or her to connect with us.

Are there cases that should not be mediated?

Almost all problems can be resolved in family law mediation! You should however discuss with your lawyer or mediator about your specific circumstances.

How does divorce mediation help the couple emotionally?

Mediation supports the healing process; helps you focus on your future; eliminates aggressive bargaining and legal games; prioritizes the well-being of the children and addresses the parties’ needs and interests. You have a voice in the process.

So… Why choose Family Mediation?

It works. 80% family mediations end in agreement as the parties are motivated to find resolution.

It’s affordable. Parties generally agree to split the cost of a mediator. Mediated cases avoid costly litigation.

It’s quick. If everyone is committed, mediation results in settlement far quicker than waiting until near trial to settle.

It’s private. Almost everything disclosed during mediation is confidential and cannot be used in a lawsuit.

It’s impartial. Mediators have no stake in the outcome. Their role is to facilitate resolution of the family matters.

It’s cooperative, not adversarial. Family Mediation provides a comfortable, safe and respectful setting for discussion. It is no where as combative as court cases.

Let FMRC help you today!

Discovering Stories in Durham Region

The Family Mediation Resource Centre (FMRC) is proud to announce we have received an Ontario Arts Council (OAC) grant to deliver an Artists In the Community project entitled Discovering Stories in Durham.

Taking place between April and December 2017, Discovering Stories in Durham will be a series of free workshops open to the diverse communities in the Durham Region. This is an opportunity to collaborate with artists and other communities in Durham Region by telling your stories through art and performance. As a community project, we want to be as inclusive and accessible as possible.

In addition to building a sense of community, we believe that community arts projects can also stimulate social action by bringing attention to social issues in a way that can help evoke creative solutions for solving problems.

Using fun-filled games and exercises, along with music, movement and visual arts, ideas will be shared during the workshops.  With permission from the participants, we’ll save/record/keep track of your ideas to discover the most effective artistic discipline(s) for community members tell their stories in a possible public presentation in 2018.

If you are a Durham organization who wants to participate in this project, we would like to hear from you! Please email at durhamstories@fmrcentre.ca or call toll-free 877-297-3312

Benefit Concert

Shake off the winter blues at the legendary Horseshoe Tavern featuring two legendary Toronto Reggae bands, Fujahtive & Sattalites  and special guest, RaLion! RaLion was born in Melbourne Australia and raised in Toronto. RaLion grew up with a father from Melbourne, Australia and a mother from Kingston Ten, Jamaica, whose influence and musical tastes helped shape Lion’s deep seeded love of reggae. While his early musical influences came from listening to original roots, rock, reggae with his family, RaLion became ‘hooked’ when the “Talking Blues” (Bob Marley & The Wailers) CD came out. Burning Spear has also been a constant source of inspiration due to his use of horns.

Tickets are $15 advance online or $20 at the door in support of Family Mediation & Resource Centre (FMRC) , a one of a kind non-governmental organization in Ontario, who is helping families stay out of adversarial court Buy your tickets here (TITLE SPONSORSHIP HAS BEEN FILLED – Thank you Little Redstone!) Don’t forget you can also donate to our grass-roots movement! 

 

Buy your tickets today!

Comprehensive Mediation Skills Certificate Training

THE FAMILY MEDIATION AND RESOURCE CENTRE PROUDLY INTRODUCES COMPREHENSIVE MEDIATION SKILLS CERTIFICATE TRAINING.

This is a proactive and preventative initiative born out of the recognition of the systemic barriers faced in our community members’ ability to access justice and our desire to sow the seeds of change. This Certificate of completion will qualify you for FMRC Roster!

WHY

Access to justice must be inclusive!
Access to justice must include the voices of our community members!
Access to justice must include multiple views of justice!
Access to justice must not create barriers in our community – it must deal with our diverse views, differences of opinions and relationships.

HOW DOES THE COMMUNITY BENEFIT?

A commitment to the pride, dignity and global understanding of the Durham Region community, the Comprehensive Mediation Skills Certificate Training will support and assist in many ways:

  •  Direct means and tools to assist in creating positive systemic and societal change
  •  Inclusive, innovative and creative approaches built upon the diverse nature of the community in terms of culture, language, individuality and difference
  • Access to community-based options in resolving issues that arise within the family, the neighbourhood, the community and the workplace
  • Recognition and development of strengths and capacities in resolution of issues as they arise both within their own relationships and in relationships between others
  • A foundational resource that community members can utilize for the betterment of their relationships

HOW CAN YOU HELP?

Invest in yourself, your relationships and your role in the community!

  • Register for the training today
  • Share and promote this unique training initiative with your peers and community members
  • Invest in a sponsorship role

For more information, to view the detailed flyer and register, head over to the training session information page.

This training is now sold out. To reserve a spot on the waiting list please email us.