Parenting After Separation courses

Parenting After Separation is a free, three-hour information session for BC parents. The course explains the effects of separation on separating parents and their children. It demonstrates effective ways to communicate and solve problems in parenting situations.

In some communities, attending a Parenting After Separation course is mandatory for separating parents. But any separating parents can choose to attend a Parenting After Separation course if they want to, even if it's not required.

The course is also available to other family members, such as grandparents, or guardians who are dealing with parenting and support issues.

For more information, see the Justice Education Society website or Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Children and Family Development's JusticeBC website.

Parenting After Separation and Provincial Court

In some communities, separating couples must attend Parenting After Separation sessions before they can go to court. If the course is mandatory where you live, Provincial Court registry staff will give you a referral. The course is available in many communities and can also be taken online.

Communities where Parenting After Separation is mandatory

The Parenting After Separation Program is mandatory in Provincial Courts in:

  • Abbotsford
  • Campbell River
  • Chilliwack
  • Courtenay
  • Kamloops
  • Kelowna
  • Nanaimo
  • New Westminster
  • North Vancouver
  • Penticton
  • Port Coquitlam
  • Prince George
  • Richmond
  • Surrey
  • Vancouver (Robson Square)
  • Vernon
  • Victoria

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.

When you've completed the course, you'll get a certificate of attendance. You must file this 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 apply to postpone a mandatory Parenting After Separation course

In urgent situations, you can apply to the court to skip or postpone this step.

Some parents are exempt

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 this out and submit instead of the certificate of attendance.

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