Parenting After Separation is for parents who:
- were married or lived together as if they were married (you might call it being in a common-law relationship), but
- are now separating.
It's a free, three-hour class that:
- explains how separation can affect both parents and children, and
- will give you some ideas about how to talk to your spouse and your children and solve parenting problems.
Who has to go to a Parenting After Separation class?
In some places in BC, if you're separating from your spouse and you have children, you have to go to a Parenting After Separation class before you can go to Provincial Court for a hearing.
You can also go to a Parenting After Separation class even if you don't have to. Other family members (for example grandparents, or guardians who're dealing with parenting and support issues) can go as well.
You can find helpful information about the program on:
- the Parenting After Separation page on the Justice Education Society website, and
- the Parenting after Separation (PAS) Program page on the BC government website.
Parenting After Separation and Provincial Court
If you have to go to a Parenting After Separation class:
- the Provincial Court registry staff will give you a referral, or
- you can do the course before you make your Provincial Court application and then give the registry your Certificate of Attendance.
You don't need to turn up in person for the class. You can register for the online class if you prefer. The online course is also available in simplified Chinese and Punjabi.
Places in BC where you have to go to a Parenting After Separation class
Find out as soon as you can if you have to go to a Parenting After Separation class. Sometimes the waiting list is quite long.
It's mandatory (you have to go to a class or do it online) in Provincial Courts in:
- Campbell River
- New Westminster
- North Vancouver
- Port Coquitlam
- Prince George
- Vancouver (Robson Square)
After you've gone to the class, you'll get a certificate of attendance to prove that you went.
If you have to go to a class, you won't get a date to appear in Provincial Court until you and your spouse can show you've both gone. File your certificate of attendance with the court as soon as you can.
You don't have to attend a class if you:
- have attended one within the past 24 months,
- aren't fluent in any language the course is offered in,
- live somewhere the course isn't offered and don't have access to the Internet to take the online course, or
- can't attend because you have serious health problems.
If you're in one of these situations, ask your court registry for the exemption form. File that form instead of the certificate of attendance.
What if you can't go to a mandatory Parenting After Separation class?
In urgent situations, you can apply to (ask) the court to miss the Parenting After Separation class. Some examples of urgent situations are:
- your safety or your children's safety is at risk, or
- there's been an accident or serious illness in your family.