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Family Resources in Canada and British Columbia

The following information contains links to websites that provide an introduction to family law and conflict resolution.

Department of Justice Canada maintains a website that discusses the laws that govern separation and divorce in Canada. For British Columbia, the Justice Services Branch of the Ministry of Justice maintains a website that provides general information about a number of issues of interest to B.C. couples who have separated or who are about to separate.  It may also be useful for guardians and other family members, such as grandparents, who may be involved in making important decisions about the family and its future.

If you are separating in Canada you may be required to attend a session on Parenting after Separation (PAS).  PAS is designed to focus on the needs of children when parents separate, and how parents can help meet those needs. The Ministry of Attorney General also publish a Handbook for Parents called Parenting after Separation (Click here to download PDF), which provides valuable  information on how to support your family through this major life change.

JP Boyd discusses the various alternatives to going to court if you have a family law problem. “Depending on your particular circumstances, you may never need to darken the doorway of a courtroom. Almost every issue a couple faces when their relationship breaks down can be handled without litigation, as long as both people are open to negotiation and each is flexible enough to find compromise. The only thing you must go to court for is a divorce order.”

The Legal Services Society maintains this legal information website about family law and legal aid British Columbia, Canada.

Listed below are individuals and organizations that have been (or expect to be) represented at a “Smartsettle Orientation for Family Gatekeepers” session and have agreed to have their attendance recorded here. This list includes excellent resources for supporting children and families in resolving conflicts in more peaceful and collaborative ways.

Other Legal Resources

Click here to learn more about Smartsettle’s affiliated legal advisors and our commitment making high quality legal information available to our clients.

Financial Resources

Canada Pension Plan (CPP) – Credit Splitting Upon Divorce or Separation

View and print your Canada Pension Plan Statement of Contributions

Click here to learn more about Smartsettle’s affiliated financial advisors and our commitment making high quality financial information available to our clients.

Mediation Resources

Taylor Wilson at Abbotsford Mediation uses the Smartsettle process.

Counsellor Resources

Annette Kasahara
Registered Clinical Counsellor – M.Ed. Psychology
Marriage – Relationships – Families

Daystar Counselling Services
Cliff Holloway, (M.T.S.-C), Registered Clinical Counsellor, Certified Trauma Counsellor
102-2890 Garden St., Abbotsford, B.C.
Office: 604.855.6677 Cell: 604.807.1690

Irene Peterson and Associates Clinical Counsellors
Registered Psychologist and Clinical Counsellors – Trauma Specialists
Irene Peterson*, Dr. Cinny Bubber

The Spaces Between Counselling
Liz Coleman, RPC
Phone: 604-809-8947
Email: info@thespacesbetweencounselling.com

Liberty Counselling Centre
Hans Abma

Pastoral Resources

Harvest Christian Fellowship
Compassionately helping the hurting by leading them to Jesus
Todd Martin, Pastor
604 852-7878

West Abbotsford Mennonite Church
Karen Heidebrecht Thiessen, Pastor

Highland Community Church
Roland Balzer

Other Resources

Co-Parenting Apps
Along with the many challenges a separation creates, coordinating and communicating with your co-parent about your children is one that can last the longest.  Others have faced this challenge and created tools that can increase the quality, quantity and accountability of your communications with your co-parent.  The primary tools they offer include shared calendars, messaging, journaling, expensing, and information sharing.  Two apps that have received positive feedback from their users are 2houses and Our Family Wizard.

Ministry of Children and Family Development
Our mission is to promote and develop the capacity of families and communities to:
* Support healthy child development;
* Care for and protect vulnerable children and youth; and
* Support adults with developmental disabilities.
Rufus Loewen, Chaplain
Toll-free 1 877 387-7027

Abbotsford Family Justice Centre
People can contact or visit family justice centres when they are thinking about separation or divorce, or at any time when dealing with issues of child custody, access, guardianship and support.

Family justice counselors provide professional assistance that may result in resolving family issues outside of court.

Divorce Care
A special support group where you can find help as you recover from the hurt of separation or divorce.

South Abbotsford Church
604-853-2663 (Herman and Martha Siemens)

Central Heights Church
604-855-4529 (Dick and Louise Hiebert)

Informative Audio and Video

All of the following video / audio information is linked to public information and/or is used with the permission of the owner of the website from which it was obtained. The opinions expressed are the authors themselves and do not represent the position of Smartsettle Family.

Family Checkup with Rex Murphy

We recommend this recent episode of Rex Murphy’s podcast in which he explores how the Canadian justice system has priced itself beyond the reach of average citizens. This highlights the tremendous need for cost effective innovation that Smartsettle Family Resolutions brings to this industry.

Divorce early in childhood affects parental relationships in adulthood

Divorce has a bigger impact on child-parent relationships if it occurs in the first few years of the child’s life, according to new research. Those who experience parental divorce early in their childhood tend to have more insecure relationships with their parents as adults than those who experience divorce later, researchers say.

Infidelity and Family Mediation

Fidelity is the spoken and unspoken rule of most marriages. There are the vows at the beginning of the marriage. There are ongoing promises of fidelity. Fidelity is required by the culture of marriage, especially here in the United States. Spouses fear infidelity, and for good reason. They see other marriages dissolve as a result of it. Infidelity seems to always have the effect of a fire – uncontrollable and unpredictable. It often destroys a marriage. But does it have to?

Gary Direnfeld

Contact Gary Direnfeld for good counseling on separation and divorce.

Impact of Divorce on Children

This is a video which examines the Impact of Divorce on Children. (20 minutes).

7 Year Itch – 3 Year Glitch

The “three-year glitch” has replaced the “seven-year itch” as the tipping point where couples start to take each other for granted, according to a new survey.

Parenting Differences and Life after the Break Up

Gary Direnfeld explores whether parenting differences lead to divorce or make divorce more challenging and challenges that come with life after a break up.

Contact Us

Please contact us at 1-877-479-3736 if you are interested in organizing or attending Smartsettle Orientation for Gatekeepers sessions in your area