How can I prepare for my meeting with a family justice counsellor?

Last updated on June 26, 2024

Before you meet with a family justice counsellor, you may want to complete a Parenting After Separation course. This is a free course for B.C. parents and other family members, such as grandparents, on family issues including:

  • Guardianship
  • Parenting arrangements
  • Contact
  • Child support
  • Spousal support

Once you have completed a Parenting After Separation course, call the nearest Family Justice Centre or Justice Access Centre to set a time to meet with a family justice counsellor.

Before your meeting, consider the following:

If parenting arrangements are important issues, you may want to look closely at Justice Canada’s Parenting Plan Checklist. It can help you identify important issues to consider when creating your parenting plan. It can also help you to prepare a draft parenting plan for discussion at your meeting.

  • If child support is one of the issues you need help to settle, you may want to look at the child support guidelines. See Child Support for more on the guidelines.
  • If you need to pay child support, bring your income tax returns, notices of assessment from the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency, and employment or business records showing your salary, fees, and benefits for the past three years.
  • Make a list of the issues you need to discuss, in priority order, and the questions you want to ask.
  • Collect copies of:
    • Any court orders or written agreements now in place relating to your separation or divorce, guardianship, parenting arrangements, contact, and child support or spousal support
    • Any protection orders currently in place, and
    • Any applications you have made for a court order
  • Write down:
    • Your lawyer's name and phone number (if you have one)
    • The address and phone number of your children's other parent
    • Any court dates (Provincial or Supreme Court) scheduled to deal with any of your family issues
    • Whether or not you are currently enrolled with the BC Family Maintenance Agency (BCFMA), here in B.C. or a program similar to BCFMA outside B.C., and
    • Where and when you met with a family justice counsellor before, if you did
  • Make childcare arrangements for your children. Please do not bring them with you to the meeting.