General Information

This page explains the operation of the law and practice of family arbitration in Ontario as it affects people who are engaged in family disputes.

Arbitrators may be asked to resolve some kinds of family law disputes, such as the support of a spouse or children or both, custody of or access to children and property division.

Family arbitration awards are only enforceable in court when the arbitrations are conducted exclusively according to the law of Ontario or another Canadian province or territory.

All arbitration decisions involving children must be made in the best interests of any child or children involved.

Family arbitrations are governed by the Arbitration Act, 1991 and by the Family Law Act and by the regulation made under the Arbitration Act, 1991. These laws apply to the procedures of a family arbitration conducted in Ontario even if the arbitrator is asked to apply the law of another Canadian province or territory to the dispute itself.


  1. Deciding to arbitrate
  2. What happens at a family arbitration?
  3. Choosing a family arbitrator
  4. The cost of family arbitration
  5. Independent legal advice
  6. Screening for domestic violence and power imbalances
  7. Domestic violence and family arbitration
  8. Enforcing an arbitral award
  9. Appealing an arbitral award
  10. Faith-based (religious) family arbitration
  11. Alternatives to family arbitration
  12. Other resources