Important Changes to Family Law Practice Note 1Effective July 20, 2015, a number of changes to Family Law Practice Note 1 came into effect. Family Law Practice Note 1 pertains to the Parenting after Separation course requirement, and the new changes should be noted by all divorce and family law litigants in Alberta.

Every Plaintiff in an action for divorce and every Applicant in an application for relief under the Family Law Act where child support, custody, access, parenting or contact is an issue must attend the Parenting after Separation seminar within three (3) months of filing the Statement of Claim or application.

Previously, however, litigants who did not live in, or within 150 kilometres of, St. Paul, Brooks, Calgary, Camrose, Drumheller, Edmonton, Edson, Fort McMurray, Grande Prairie, Hinton, Jasper, Lethbridge, Lloydminster, Medicine Hat, Peace River, Red Deer, Slave Lake and Wetaskiwin were not required to complete the seminar. Family Practice Note 1 now applies to all litigants in Alberta, regardless of where they live within the province, who have children under the age of 16 years who reside in Canada.

In order to assist with issues of accessibility, another significant change brought about by the revised Practice Note 1 is that an online Parenting After Separation seminar will now be available and litigants will have the choice between the online seminar and the traditional in-person seminar. The online seminar is located at: http://pas.albertacourts.ab.ca/

Most clients find the seminar to be useful, assisting with positive communication and co-parenting strategies.