Parenting After Separation Program
The Parenting After Separation program consists of two courses: Parenting After Separation (PAS) and Parenting After Separation for Families in High Conflict (PASHC). These courses are intended to help individuals deal with family breakdown.
1. Description of the Courses
The Parenting After Separation courses aim to:
- provide for the best interests of children in family disputes;
- increase parents’ understanding by providing information about legal issues, available options for resolution, child support, parenting time, decision-making responsibility and parenting;
- provide information to promote consensual conflict resolution methods that lead to long-lasting resolution of issues; and
- reduce the number of family matters returning to the court.
The courses are offered online and can each be completed in approximately three to four hours. The following are course descriptions for the Parenting After Separation (PAS) and the Parenting After Separation for Families in High Conflict (PASHC) courses.
Parenting After Separation (PAS):
This online course provides participants with information regarding the many aspects of parenting after separation. The PAS course consists of four sections:
Section 1: Relationship Building Blocks – Learn parenting and co-parenting skills to help children adjust after a parental separation.
Section 2: Children Can Cope with Separation and Divorce – Understand how children at different ages respond to separation, warning signs of stress at each age, and information on what parents can do to help their children cope.
Section 3: Learning Your Way Around the Legal System – Learn about dispute resolution options. This section discusses the legal process as it relates to separation or divorce.
Section 4: Parenting Plans That Work for Your Family – Options for preparing an agreement which outlines how parents will raise their children going forward.
Parenting After Separation for Families in High Conflict (PASHC):
This course is in addition to the PAS course and is intended for parents and guardians who characterize their separation as high conflict. This course is not mandatory; however, it may be ordered by the court when high conflict exists between parties. This course consists of six sections:
Section 1: How is it Working? – Understand the toll conflict takes on both parents and their children.
Section 2: Protecting Your Children – Identify ways to protect children from the stress brought on by high conflict.
Section 3: Managing Emotions – Learn about emotions in high conflict situations and how patterns of behaviour keep conflict going.
Section 4: Setting Boundaries – Learn practical steps for setting boundaries to reduce conflict.
Section 5: Parallel Parenting Plans – Gain information about how to develop or modify a parallel parenting plan to better manage conflict with the other parent.
Section 6: Making it Work – Learn conflict reducing strategies.
There is no fee for these courses, and both are available in French.
2. Who is Required to Take the PAS Course?
Anyone can take the Parenting After Separation course. In family law proceedings (except for inter-jurisdictional support orders) where decision-making responsibility, parenting time, or child support is an issue, parents must complete the PAS course.
Parties are not required to complete the course if:
- they file a certificate of attendance with the court proving they have completed the PAS course or an equivalent course within the last two years;
- they obtain an order from the court exempting them from attendance; or
- all parties to the proceeding certify in writing that they have entered into a written agreement settling all issues respecting decision-making responsibility, parenting time and child support.
The parent initiating the court action (the Petitioner) must:
- attend the PAS course and file a Certificate of Attendance with the court before taking any further steps in the proceeding; and
- serve the other parent (the Respondent) with the Petition, in which parenting, or child support claims are made. The Petition contains information for the Respondent regarding the need to attend the PAS course.
The Respondent must attend the PAS course and file a Certificate of Attendance before taking any further steps in the proceeding.
3. Register for the Courses
Access to the online Parenting After Separation courses is available through a Saskatchewan Account. Saskatchewan Accounts are free to use and allow residents to securely access a variety of online government services.
Once you are registered for a Saskatchewan Account, you must then link the Parenting After Separation service card. Once linked, select ‘Use Service’ under that service card, then select ‘My Dashboard’ to enter the e-learning courses platform. Please select ‘begin’ to start the e-course you would like to take.
The Parenting After Separation and Parenting After Separation for Families in High Conflict guides can be viewed or downloaded below:
4. Further Information
Failure to complete the PAS course when required, and upon application by the other party, may result in the court:
- striking out that party's pleadings or other documents;
- refusing to allow that party to make submissions on an application or at trial; or
- ordering completion of a course within a specified time and adjourning the application.
The application for exemption from completing the course may be made without notice (with only one parent appearing in court). The grounds for granting an exemption must be one of the following:
- the applicant is seeking interim primary residence and decision-making responsibility through a without notice application for a restraining order where there has been domestic violence;
- a child of the party has been kidnapped or abducted; or
- in the opinion of the court, there are extraordinary circumstances.
A court may postpone the requirement to complete the PAS course where one of the parties has made changes that only affect one side of a parenting arrangement. This application may be made without notice to the other party.
The program does not provide legal services. It is recommended that everyone involved in a family law matter consult with a lawyer. If you do not have a lawyer, you may choose to contact Legal Aid Saskatchewan or the Family Law Information Centre at 306-787-5837 or toll-free at 1-888-218-2822.