Helpful Information on Child Protection in BC
Where to get help
|Comprehensive Child Support Service||If you live in the Kelowna, Nanaimo, Vancouver or Surrey areas and need to find out more about child support, and obtaining or changing a child support order or agreement, the new Child Support Officer can help. Child Support Officers help you understand the child support guidelines and calculate what you are entitled to receive or must pay under those guidelines.||Kelowna: 250.712.3636 |
|Family Justice Counsellors||Family Justice Counsellors can mediate issues involving parenting arrangements, contact, child support and spousal support. Family Justice Counsellors don’t provide legal advice. They will refer you to legal services if you need them. Family Justice Counsellors can also make referrals to other sources of help.||Call Enquiry BC to find the nearest Family Justice Centre.|
Greater Vancouver: 604.660.2421
|Family Maintenance Enforcement Program (FMEP)||FMEP is a government service that enforces orders and agreements for child support and spousal support. If necessary, staff will take action to try to ensure that the payor makes the required payments. To register with FMEP, you need an enrolment package. You can get the enrolment package at any Provincial Courthouse, Service BC Centres, Ministry of Social Development offices or FMEP at the central Enrolment Office.||Enrolment Office:|
|Mediate BC||Mediators are impartial and have no decision-making powers. The mediator’s roles include:
||Mediate BC Society|
Family Mediation Services
|Ministry of Children and Families Development of BC||The Ministry provides programs and services to ensure that healthy children and responsible families are living in safe, caring and inclusive communities.||Victoria:|
|Parenting After Separation Program||The Parenting After Separation Program is a free, three-hour information session that parents (and other family members, such as grandparents) may attend in person. You do not have to attend the same program session as the other parent. The Parenting After Separation Program is also available online.||www.familieschange.ca,br/>
To find out more about Parenting After Separation, talk to a Family Justice Counsellor.
|Parent Support Services
Society of BC
|The Parent Support Services Society runs parent support circles around the province for parents who want to fi nd ways to have better relationships with their children.||Lower Mainland:|
|PovNet||Check the PovNet website if you need to find an advocate who has experience with child protection cases. An advocate can provide support, help make sure you are listened to, give you information about your choices and your rights, and explain how the Ministry works.||www.povnet.org|
|VictimLink BC||VictimLink BC is a toll-free, confidential, multilingual telephone service available across BC and Yukon 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It provides information and referral services to all victims of crime and immediate crisis support to victims of family and sexual violence. VictimLink BC provides service in more than 110 languages, including 17 North American aboriginal languages.||Toll-Free: 1.800.563.0808 |
Getting Legal Advice
|Access Pro Bono
Society of BC
|Access Pro Bono volunteer lawyers provide free legal advice to persons who cannot obtain legal aid or afford a lawyer.||Lower Mainland: |
|JP Boyd’s BC Family Law Resource||This website offers a comprehensive survey of family law, divorce law and the court process in BC. It’s written in plain language, with handy pop-up definitions for legal words and phrases.||www.bcfamilylawresource.com |
|Lawyer Referral Service||The Lawyer Referral Service can give you the name of a family law lawyer near you who will give you a 30-minute consultation for $25.||Greater Vancouver: 604.687.3221 |
|Native Courtworkers and Counselling Association of BC||The Native Courtworkers and Counselling Association of British Columbia provides culturally appropriate services to aboriginal people and communities consistent with their needs. It includes advocacy for aboriginal families and youth, community outreach, training and workshops.||Lower Mainland:|
|This information applies to British Columbia, Canada. Last reviewed for legal accuracy by People's Law School, 2014.|
|Basics of Child Support in BC © People's Law School is, except for the images, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Canada Licence.|
Money paid by one parent or guardian to another parent or guardian as a contribution toward the cost of a child's living and other expenses.
A mandatory direction of the court, binding and enforceable upon the parties to a court proceeding. An "interim order" is a temporary order made following the hearing of an interim application. A "final order" is a permanent order, made following the trial of the court proceeding or the parties' settlement, following which the only recourse open to a dissatisfied party is to appeal. See "appeal," "consent order," "decision" and "declaration."
A term under the Family Law Act which describes the arrangements for parental responsibilities and parenting time among guardians, made in an order or agreement. "Parenting arrangements" does not include contact. See "contact," "guardian," "parental responsibilities" and "parenting time."
A term under the Family Law Act that describes the visitation rights of a person who is not a guardian with a child. Contact may be provided by court order or by the agreement among the child's guardians who have parental responsibility for determining contact. See "guardian" and "parental responsibilities."
Money paid by one spouse to another spouse either as a contribution toward the spouse's living expenses or to compensate the spouse for the economic consequences of decisions made by the spouses during their relationship.
A court proceeding in which one party sues another for a specific remedy or relief, also called a "lawsuit" or a "case." An action for divorce, for example, is a court proceeding in which the claimant sues the respondent for the relief of a divorce order.
In law, a judge's conclusions after hearing argument and considering the evidence presented at a trial or an application; a judgment; the judge's reasons. A judge's written or oral decision will include the judge's conclusions about the relief or remedies claimed as well as their findings of fact and conclusions of law. A written decision is called the judge’s "reasons for judgment." See "common law," "conclusions of law," and "findings of fact."
A dispute resolution process in which a specially-trained neutral person facilitates discussions between the parties to a legal dispute and helps them reach a compromise settling the dispute. See "alternative dispute resolution" and "family law mediator."
In family law, the natural or adoptive father or mother of a child; may also include stepparents, depending on the circumstances and the applicable legislation; may include the donors of eggs or sperm and surrogate mothers, depending on the circumstances and the terms of any assisted reproduction agreement. See "adoptive parent," "natural parent" and "stepparent."
A lawyer or a person other than a lawyer who helps clients with legal issues; to argue a position on behalf of a client.
A person licensed to practice law in a particular jurisdiction. See "barrister and solicitor."
The legal termination of a valid marriage by an order of a judge; the ending of a marital relationship and the conjugal obligations of each spouse to the other. See "conjugal rights," "marriage," and "marriage, validity of."
In law, in British Columbia a person under the age of 19.