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Help for Parents who are Separating or Divorcing


Are you a parent in the process of separating or divorcing? Did you know that there are free programs and services to support you through this process?Before seeing a lawyer, you may be interested in the services provided through the Family Justice Program with the Ministry of Attorney General of BC. Family Justice Counsellors can provide you with information, support and also help with mediation between you and your ex-spouse. They can even help you negotiate custody, access and support agreements. The Family Justice Program also offers a free three-hour “Parenting after Separation” workshop. The PAS workshop is intended to help parents make careful and informed decisions around their separation and proactively anticipate the conflicts that may result. The session emphasizes the importance of taking into account the best interests of the children. The workshop is excellent and provides valuable information to help all parties effectively deal with the difficulty of separating. The legalities of custody, guardianship, access, and support are discussed and additional resource materials are provided. There are sessions offered throughout BC, with some being offered in other languages, and home-study packages are available at local libraries. A parenting handbook is also available and is printed in English, Chinese, French and Punjabi. If your marital breakdown does proceed to divorce, both parties will need to provide evidence of having attended the PAS workshop. But don’t wait until then — the information you will be provided with will have you wishing you had attended sooner.For information on Child Support, there is an Infoline: 604 660-2192 (lower mainland) and 1-888-216-2211