The B.C. government says it has expanded a pilot project that's intended to keep family disputes out of the courts.

Now any British Columbian embroiled in a family dispute before the B.C. Supreme Court can require all parties involved to attend at least one session with a mediator.

The ministry says changes to the existing law will allow exceptions if mediation is not safe.

If individuals can't agree on a mediator, the provincial government says one will be appointed.

The project began in Nanaimo in 2007 and was expanded to Victoria and Duncan in 2008.

Vancouver and New Westminster were added in 2009, and now the provincial law has been amended so it covers the entire province.