Parenting After Separation in British Columbia
“Parenting After Separation” is a course offered, and sometimes suggested/enforced, by the legal-powers-that-be for parents involved in a divorce or common-law separation where children of any age are involved.
Not only does this course show those who do not know what to do or how to do it, but it is a reminder for those that do ‘know’ just how important careful, respectful and positive parenting is for ALL involved.
I feel that it is something that should be highly recommended for all separated parents to attend these sessions every two years.
PAS is a free, three-hour information session for BC parents — and other family members, such as grandparents, step-parents or guardians — who are dealing with parenting and support issues. The course explains the effects of separation on separating parents and their children and demonstrates effective ways to communicate and solve problems in parenting situations. Any separating parents can choose to attend this course.
Parenting After Separation and Provincial Court
In some communities, separating couples must attend Parenting After Separation sessions before they can go to court. The course is available in many communities and can also be taken online. For more information about the online course, see Online Parenting After Separation on the Justice Education Society website.
Important: In urgent situations, you can apply to the court to skip or postpone this step.
If the course is mandatory where you live (see below for a complete list of communities), Provincial Court registry staff will give you a referral.
When you’ve completed the course, you’ll receive a certificate of attendance that you must file with the registry before they will set a first appearance date. Both parties must attend the course on or before the first appearance date.
You can choose to attend a Parenting After Separation course if you want to (and one is available in your community), even if it’s not required.
Tip: It’s a good idea to find out as soon as possible if you have to go to a Parenting After Separation course — sometimes the waiting list to get into a course can be quite long.
You don’t have to attend this course if you:
- have attended the course already within the past 24 months;
- aren’t fluent in any language in which the course is offered;
- live in an area where the course isn’t offered and you don’t have access to the Internet to take the online course; or
- can’t attend because you have serious health problems.
If one of these situations applies to you, go to your court registry and ask for the exemption form you can fill out and submit instead of the certificate of attendance.
The Parenting After Separation Program is mandatory in Provincial Courts in:
- Campbell River
- New Westminster
- North Vancouver
- Port Coquitlam
- Prince George
- Vancouver (Robson Square)
More information can be found at:
Where the course can be taken online.
Attached is a PDF copy of the BC Ministry’s PAS Handbook for your reference.pashandbook