Who is the program for?

Anyone who is going through the process of separation will benefit from participating in the program. You are making a major change in your life. Separation is difficult for you and for your children.

In many larger communities you must complete a Parenting After Separation session before you can go to the Provincial Court to obtain or change a child support order or an order about parenting arrangements, contact or support.

If you and your spouse have come to an agreement without going to court, you are not required to complete a Parenting After Separation session but you are welcome to do so.

Provincial Court registry staff will give you information about in person Parenting After Separation sessions and accessing the online course. (See the note below for a list of communities where you are required to complete Parenting After Separation ). If attending in person, you will not be asked to attend the same session as your former spouse.

The online course covers the same topics as the in-person sessions. It includes videos, audio, text, worksheets and interactive exercises. To view the course, visit Families Change and select “Online Parenting After Separation.”

Once you have completed Parenting After Separation, you will receive a Certificate of Attendance. If completing the online program, you must complete the registration information in order to receive a Certificate of Attendance. You have to file this certificate with the court registry before they will set a first appearance date. Both you and your spouse must attend the course on or before the first appearance date, unless you have an official exemption. (Please see Do I have to take Parenting After Separation? for more information about exemptions.)

Note: Parents may go to either the Provincial Court or the Supreme Court for an order. To determine which court you should go to, we recommend you talk to a lawyer. A family justice counsellor can also provide you with information about the courts. You can find out more about the responsibilities of each court in our section on Going to Court.

You must take Parenting After Separation in Abbotsford, Campbell River, Chilliwack, Courtenay, Kamloops, Kelowna, Nanaimo, New Westminster, North Vancouver, Penticton, Port Coquitlam, Prince George, Richmond, Surrey, Vancouver, Vernon and Victoria.

If you are going to Supreme Court, the judges may recommend that you complete Parenting After Separation on a voluntary basis, or you may choose to attend. Anyone can complete Parenting After Separation free of charge.