Judge-Examining Paperwork

The Court has introduced 4 steps that are necessary before a non-urgent parenting or support issue can go before a judge in Calgary and Edmonton.  These steps do not apply to urgent issues or restraining orders. The steps became mandatory in December 2023.

The steps are:

1.  Completion of the online Parenting After Separation Course (PAS) (if there are children under the age of 18 affected by the issue, and it has been more than 2 years since the course was last taken).

2. Meeting with a Family Court Counsellor (FCC) (for self-represented parties with dependent children) – if you have a lawyer, this step is not required.

3. Providing Financial Disclosure; and

4. Participation in an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) process within 6 months prior to going to court. Note: if the respondent refuses to participate in an ADR (or it is unsafe, or there are reasons this step cannot be done), the applicant can still go to court (the Court can waive requirements).  

The Applicant can still go to court if it is the respondent who is not completing the steps. The Court can also waive or defer the steps.

The ADR process can be the free options offered by the Court, mediation with a mediation professional, and in some cases, lawyer-assisted settlement meetings, or other options. 

The intent of the Court is that these steps will encourage a better exchange of financial information and lead to legally appropriate agreements on parenting and support issues: leaving the Court for the hard cases.

 If you have concerns for your safety or the safety of others, contact the Family Violence Information Line, by phone or text: 310-1818. This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.



Parenting After Separation Course:  https://www.alberta.ca/pas

Family law dispute resolution:  https://albertacourts.ca/kb/areas-of-law/family/family-law-dispute-resolution-services

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Written by Ceri Chwieros

Best Lawyer,Cheri Chwieros
Recoginised: 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024