9.3 PAS and/or Family Justice Counsellor

Resources:

The ministry of justice provides a free course for parents who are separating, called the ‘Parenting after Separation Course’ (PAS).  This course is designed to help you learn ways to co-parent and deal with the new changes of separation. Although it is helpful, keep in mind that attending PAS and/or meeting with a Family Judicial Counsellor (FJC) is a step that is not necessary for every application.  If you don’t have children, this will not apply to you.

 

Parenting After Separation Program (PAS)

PAS is required in most locations. It is a course designed to help parents deal with the difficulties of co-parenting after separation. It gives you tools and practical tips on how to communicate with your former spouse and how to focus on the best interests of the children. It helps parents make decisions that are in the best interests of the children.  The program is very useful to take, and you should seriously consider taking the course even if it isn't required in your court registry. The program is available online

After you attend PAS, you must file the Parenting after Separation Certificate of Attendance at the registry. You can apply to postpone a mandatory Parenting After Separation course in urgent situations. You don't have to attend PAS 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 teh 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 it instead of the certificate of attendance. 

 

Meeting with a Family Justice Counsellor (FJC)

If you live in Vancouver, Kelowna, Naniamo or Surrey (rule 5 registries), you must meet with a FJC. At the meeting, they can provide information or serve as mediators if both parties are prepared to try mediation. FJC are there to help you resolve your dispute. You may not need to go to court if you are able to come to an agreement at your FJC meeting. If you can’t come to an agreement you will need to file a Referral Request (Form 6).To learn more about how FJCs can help, review Chapter 4.

Most parents will need to attend PAS (under Rule 21) and meet with a FJC (under Rule 5). Your location will determine whether or not you need to do this.  Take a look at the chart to see if you fall within Rule 5 or 21. 

 Rule 21 registries (must attend PAS) 

 Rule 5 registries (meet with a FJC)

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note: *these locations only offer PAS online.