It’s International Women’s Day!
Message from our Chair
3rd Annual FDRIO Conference News
Certifications offer ends March 31
We want to put YOU on the map!
What’s On?
Meet our New Directors
Meet Our “Member Of The Month”
Certification Updates
Member Opportunities
Membership Portal
Contact Us

International Women's Day

Dr. Barbara LandauOn this International Women’s Day, reflect on what gender equality means to you and why it matters. Read more here from our inaugural Chair Dr. Barbara Landau.

International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on our progress. How far have we come?

As a ‘pioneer’, I have the ability to take a long range view. When I entered the field as the Chief Psychologist at the Family Court in Toronto and a member of the first Status of Women Council, divorce required fault or desertion, abuse was hardly recognized, and the consequences of adultery for women were a loss of support forever, and potentially loss of the home and custody of the children.

With respect to property division – the law at the time gave the spoils of the marriage to whoever paid for them and that frequently meant that men got the home, cottage, pension, business, etc. – while women got the leftovers in the fridge – after he got the fridge!

Check out the full article here.

Message from the Chair

Things are happening at FDRIO!

Following our successful 2016 Conference and FDR Week, plans are well underway for this year’s Conference (November 20, 2017) and FDR Week (November 20 to 24, 2017). Mark those dates on your calendar. If you would like to join the Planning Committee, contact either Shirley Levitan or Ilana Tamari. If you are interested in sponsorship opportunities, contact me directly.

We are now accepting applications for certification as a specialist in mediation, arbitration, and parenting coordination. Reduced fees apply to all applications received by March 31, 2017. Visit the website for details.

We are delighted to announce that we have arranged for a policy of professional liability insurance for all FDR professionals that features coverage for all FDR disciplines, extremely low premiums, and low deductible. Those already covered by professional liability policies (lawyers, psychologists, and social workers) will want to consider applying for coverage under our policy. See the website for details.

We have had two successful webinars this year. More are being planned for the spring.

We are planning a joint program with ADRIO on mediation-arbitration. Details will follow in future newsletters.

If you haven’t already renewed your FDRIO membership for 2017, please do so as soon as possible. Go to the website for directions. We need your support to develop better programs for FDR professionals and to spread the word about FDR options to the public.

Lorne WolfsonWe look forward to a successful 2017.

Lorne Wolfson, Chair


Save the Date!

Do not miss our conference November 20, 2017. We have some great surprises for you. Registration opens April 2017.

FDRweek 2017: November 20–24. Free public events and great professional workshops at venues across Ontario.

Want to organize an event during FDRweek? Contact us at

Certifications “offer” ends March 31

Do you have a FDR certification from another organization? Are you a senior, experienced FDR professional seeking certification for the first time?

FDRIO is waiving the fee to apply for a FDRP designation until March 31. Check our website’s Certifications pages for qualifying criteria. To apply, login into your member portal! (see below for details).

We want to put YOU on the map!

The FDRIO member portal will be made accessible to the public soon. Members should complete their profiles ASAP so that people seeking FDR professionals will find you. Contact us at if you have any questions. Don’t delay!

What’s On?

 Mediation StationApril 9, Tune in to Mediation Station with Gregg Fenton (8-9 pm EST)

To hear FDRIO Board member Marty Klein talk about, From The Life of a Litigator to the Life of a Mediator.

Listen to the program through any of the following:

  • CHHA 1610AM
  • Rogers Digital Cable Channel 951

Webinar – April 18, 2017, (5:30 pm to 7 pm)

Rita and Samy Czarny: Mediating Grandparent Access

As of last December, grandparents are now acknowledged in the Ontario family law. Rita and Samy Czarny played an integral role in passing Bill 34. Join them for a free webinar on understanding the complex issues surrounding grandparent access, alienation and Bill 34.

Register today by emailing your name to

Yoga of DivorceOur March webinar, The Yoga of Divorce with mediator Mike MacConnell took place on Wednesday March 1, 2017. It was another success! Drawing on his book of the same name, Mike showed how many of the principles/philosophies found in Yoga, apply to the mediation process for divorcing/separation couples. There were excellent insights into mindfulness at the professional level, and a robust Q and A session.

Thank you Mike for the amazing webinar!

Save the date

AFFC Ontario AGM & Conference
Breaking Down Barriers: Targeting Resources to Meet Families’ Needs
October 19th and 20th

For more information please contact:, or .

Registration opens April 2017.

Justice Bonkalo’s Family Law Services Review report was released this week. It is an excellent review of the services available to those seeking to resolve family law issues. We recommend it to FDR professionals to better understand the basis for Justice Bonkalo’s recommendations for improving access to justice in family law.

You can view the report here.

Meet our new Directors

Shirley Levitan

Shirley Eve Levitan

A family law and fertility law lawyer, collaborative practitioner and mediator, Shirley loves the challenges of her work. She enjoys representing a wide diversity of people as well as problem-solving. Shirley seeks to help people reach their goals whether it is through restructuring their family due to relationship breakdown or building their family using reproductive technology.

Shirley brings FDRIO her energy and commitment to our work promoting out-of-court dispute resolution for families in transition and will be co-chairing FDRIO’s third annual conference.

Ilana Tamari

Ilana Tamari

Ilana is a family mediator, parenting coordinator and custody evaluator. She is passionate about advocating for children and helping parents navigate ‘stormy waters’ during separation and divorce. Ilana brings to FDRIO her openness to others’ ideas and opinions and welcomes diversity in thinking. She also has an extensive background in governance and professional conduct within our FDR community. Ilana is the co-chair of the FDR conference and is also working to develop professional and public events for FDRweek within the GTA.

Laura Bradford

Laura Bradford

Laura provides comprehensive mediation, mediation-arbitration and parenting coordination services. Laura loves when the process results in a high quality memorandum or award that will serve her clients well through their co-parenting. Seeing her clients learning and using new behavioural habits with each other as a result of the process she promotes brings Laura great satisfaction. Laura brings to FDRIO her belief that an evolution is needed for the dispute resolution profession. She believes that one organization bringing together all disciplines will strengthen our industry and improve the services we can provide our clients. In her words, FDRIO will raise the awareness of the options available and provide high quality certification that professionals are competent and qualified. As a Board member Laura is looking forward to being directly involved in molding the future of the disciplines in FDRIO.

Borzou Tabrizi, Member of the Month

Borzou Tabrizi

FDRIO Member, family law lawyer and mediator Borzou Tabrizi was born in Tehran. Borzou moved to Richmond Hill when he was nine and recently moved to Toronto.

An avid soccer player and reader, Borzou also enjoys DJ-ing during his down time. His current favourite book is the Kite Runner and top movie pick is Good Will Hunting.

Borzou joined FDRIO to connect with other FDR professionals. These connections turned into strong mentorships when he opened up his practice. He believes family law needs to foster these types of connections, mentorships and information sharing to help strength the FDR industry. Borzou aims to have a flourishing family mediation practice, work as a collaborative lawyer and continue to find his place in family dispute resolution.

Borzou is fluent in Farsi and English.

Great to meet you Borzou!!

Would you like to be FDRIO’s Member of the Month? Send us a bit about yourself to

Certification Updates

The Ministry of the Attorney General has confirmed that the FDRP Med meets the standard requirements of the Ministry for court-connected family mediation.  We are excited to see how many members have already submitted applications for one or more of our three new  FDRP designations. Thank you for being patient as we process our first set of applications.

•Certified Specialist Designations.

We have designed and administer three professional designations:

  • FDRP Med: Certified Specialist in Family Mediation
  • FDRP Arb: Certified Specialist in Family Arbitration
  • FDRP PC: Certified Specialist in Parenting Coordination

Please visit the Certifications page of our website to learn the training required to obtain your FDRP Certification and how to apply.

  • Waiver of application fees until March 31, 2017 – Given the volume of applications we’ve received, we have extended the first application period to March 31, 2017. Our first designations will be issued after that date. Administrative fees for certification applications received on the basis of a prior, equivalent certification from another organization or for senior, experienced candidates seeking training exemptions will be waived for applications received before March 31. Don’t miss out!
  • Our designations have harmonized entry-level standards that are illustrated on our Certifications page of our website. Some of these differ from the requirements of other certifying organizations. All FDRP candidates must have:
    • at least 30 hours of family law training unless they are a practicing family lawyer
    • either a relevant undergraduate degree or 10 years of experience in a related field
    • a 14 hour Family Relations course unless they are mental health/family relations specialists (effective for applications received after December 31,  2017)
    • a 21 hour course in Screening for Power Imbalances and Family Violence, including all those seeking exemptions based on seniority and experience.

Member Opportunities

Our 2017 Conference and FDRWeek plans are well underway, and WE NEED PEOPLE LIKE YOU! We are planning the public and professional events for this annual week of celebration of all forms of FDR.

We need members to:

  • organize public events promoting FDR in and out of Toronto
  • organize FDRIO meet and greets in their communities
  • contribute content to our FDR Toolkit on our website
  • volunteer to help or speak at events
  • contribute to access to justice events in their communities.
  • follow us on twitter and LinkedIn and Facebook and re-post our posts
  • join FDRIO committees and sections

Please contact if you can help. We would love to have you on board in one or more of our many volunteering areas!

The FDRIO Communications Committee has a volunteer opportunity for a professional who is passionate about promoting FDR and serving our membership. Candidates will have some background or experience in writing, communications, social media and websites. Interested candidates please forward a brief summary about your interest in joining this committee alongside your CV to with the subject line Communication Opportunity.

We also need committed volunteers for our Certification Committees. Any members interested in joining any of our FDRP Certification sub-committees please let us know at

mediate393 in Toronto is looking for qualified family mediators and Information & Referral Coordinators to join their roster of independent contractors at Toronto’s Provincial and Superior Courts. The greatest demand is for FDR professionals who speak the languages of the communities served at these locations. Interested candidates please contact Successful candidates will receive a response.

Membership Portal

It’s time to complete your Member Profile to reap the benefits of membership!

Please login to your portal today and obtain a password from our admin. Your profile is the best way to market your FDR services to the public and other professionals. Please complete it today! Here are some of the neat things you can do with the Portal:

  • Upload your photo
  • Update your contact information
  • Provide a brief summary of yourself
  • Indicate your newsletter/bulletin mailing preference
  • Indicate your languages spoken, areas of practice, location, etc. This will help other members look you up if they’re looking for someone in a specific region, or a specific practitioner, who speaks a specific language
  • Apply for FDRIO Certification (see above for a list of our exciting designations)
  • Join our many sections (FREE!)

Contact Us!

Questions about Certification?

Questions about Membership?

General questions about FDRIO?

Problems with the website or member portal?

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