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Thursday, July 31, 2014
Saskatchewan Justice

In October 2001, legislative amendments were made to allow the Ministry of Justice and Attorney General to pilot a mandatory Parenting after Separation and Divorce Program in the judicial centres of Saskatoon and Yorkton. In September 2003, the judicial centres of Prince Albert and Regina were added. Legislative Amendments  made December 19, 2008 allow the Ministry of Justice and Attorney General to put into effect mandatory attendance to the PARENTING AFTER SEPARATION and DIVORCE PROGRAM in all Queen's Bench Court locations in Saskatchewan. Additional locations in the province are: Moose Jaw, North Battleford, Meadow Lake, Swift Current, Estevan, Weyburn, and La Ronge.

In any family law proceeding in which custody, access or child support is in issue, other than a proceeding pursuant to The Inter-jurisdictional Support Orders Act, the party commencing the action must:

  • attend the Parenting after Separation and Divorce program and file a certificate of attendance with the court before taking any further step in the proceeding; and
  • serve the Respondent with the Notice to Attend the Parenting After Separation and Divorce Program with the document commencing the family law proceeding.

The Respondent must attend the Parenting after Separation and Divorce program and file a certificate of attendance before taking any further step in the proceeding.

Parties are not required to attend the parenting education program if:

  • they file with the court a certificate of attendance proving that they have attended the Parenting after Separation and Divorce program or equivalent program within the preceding two years;
  • they obtain an order from the Court exempting them from attendance; or
  • all the parties to the proceeding certify in writing that a written agreement has been entered into settling all issues respecting custody, access and child support.

Failure to attend at the Parenting after Separation and Divorce program when required to do so may result in the Court, upon application by the other side:

  • 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 attendance at a program within a specified time and adjourning the application.

The application for exemption from attendance may be made ex parte. The grounds for granting an exemption must be one of the following:

  • the applicant is seeking interim custody incidental to an ex parte 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 attend the Parenting after Separation and Divorce program where one of the parties has made a unilateral change in a custody or access arrangement. This application may be made ex parte.



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