Inventory of Government-Based Family Justice Services

The Family Court Counsellors' Office

Province/Territory
Prince Edward Island

Type of service
Enforcement of Parenting Arrangements

Services offered
The Family Court Counsellors’ Office, through the Parenting Arrangements Assessment process (formerly Homestudy), are providing a general parenting coordination function, combining parenting assessment, education, conflict management and case management functions.

As Parenting Arrangements Assessments are conducted while Interim Custody/Access orders are in effect, clinicians conducting assessments provide assistance and coordinating functions to assist parents in understanding their obligations to comply with their Interim Custody Order. Where parents experience difficulties with compliance during the Parenting Arrangements Assessment, clinicians are often called upon to assist with problem solving and to encourage parents, who are unable to resolve their differences, to seek legal advice on how to have their Interim Order reviewed by the Court. In cases of unrepresented parties/parents, clinicians advise of the importance of complying with the Court Order and the potential consequences for non-compliance.

Parents are advised that settlement is an option at any time during the process. Throughout the parenting assessment process, information is shared with both parties regarding the children’s needs. The Family Court Clinician educates parents about the ages and stages of child development, including development tasks; possible experiences during parents’ separation; behaviours that indicate distress; the effects of conflict on children; and time sharing considerations. The Family Court Clinicians use a strength based model of practice providing parents with education, coaching and guidance to empower the parents to make decisions regarding custody and access that are in their children’s best interest.

The Family Court Clinician assists the parents to develop a parenting plan focussing on custody and access issues. The importance of compliance with custody/access orders/agreements is also discussed.

If the parents are unable to agree on a parenting plan, the Family Court Clinician includes in the Parenting Arrangements Assessment report recommendations regarding custody and access of the children involved and sets out for the court important issues to consider when determining custody and access issues.

Pilot or ongoing service
Ongoing service

Department responsible
Department of Justice and Public Safety, Family Law Section, Family Court Counsellors’ Office

How to access this service
Only the Court can authorize the Parenting Arrangements Assessment through the Family Court Counsellors’ Office.

Location(s)
The Family Court Counsellors’ Office have two work sites, Charlottetown and Kensington.
[ Service(s) offered ]

Language(s)
English. Document translation services are provided, as required.

Publications/information
Family Court Counsellors’ Office information brochures are available, in English and French, through contact person below.

Costs
There is no charge for in province Parenting Arrangements Assessments. In cases where a party/parent resides in a province/territory that does not provide a reciprocal public child custody assessment service, the parties will be required to pay for the out of province portion of the Parenting Arrangements Assessment, based upon a means test.

Governing legislation/legislative authority
Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, R.S.P.E.I. 1988, Cap.

Contact person(s)
Randall Oftedahl
Coordinator, Family Court Counsellors’ Office
Honourable C.R. McQuaid Family Law Centre
1 Harbourside Access Road, P.O. Box 2000
Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8
Ph: (902) 368- 6057
Fax: (902) 368-6934
Email:

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