What is a Section 30 Assessment?
A Section 30 assessment refers to Section 30 of the Children’s Law Reform Act (CLRA) and is used to guide parenting time and major decisions that are in best interests of the child. This parenting assessment may be ordered by the court, requested by the lawyers, or entered into voluntarily with the mutual consent of both parents.
When a family’s situation is complex, a Section 30 assessment provides a neutral and comprehensive picture of how the family is functioning that is used to make decisions about the child(ren). These complexities could include concerns about one or both parent’s ability to care for the child(ren), parental alienation, or a child’s own special needs such as his/her mental or physical health, or education.
The Role of the Assessor
The role of the assessor is to understand the family’s situation thoroughly and make formal recommendations about parenting time and major decisions. Throughout the process, the assessor works from the perspective of the best interests of the children. The assessment usually takes about 3 months. During this time the assessor will conduct:
- At least two observation visits with the children and each parent.
- Individual interviews with each child and parent.
- A review of information from professionals who either have been or are in contact with the family. This includes professionals such as counsellors, teachers, doctors, social workers, and parole officers.
Section 30 Disclosure Meeting
Once the assessment is complete, the assessor will meet with both parents and, if desired, their respective legal counsel to share the outcome of the assessment.
These findings reveal the needs of the children and recommendations regarding parenting time, living arrangements and other major decisions. During the disclosure meeting, the assessor will share observations and make suggestions about how each parent can improve the situation for the children.
A written copy of the findings can be provided by the assessor upon the request of one or both parents or if the case goes before the courts.
Child Centred Divorce Services
Mediate your parenting plan and avoid lengthy court proceedings. Our mediators work with you to develop a plan that is child centred while equipping you to minimize conflict in your co-parenting relationship.
We help parents work out how to practically implement the terms of your parenting plan and teach you the communication and conflict resolution skills you need to reduce and even avoid future conflict.
We create a safe atmosphere to talk with your child regarding family decisions relating to them. With their views and preferences clarified, parents can make informed decisions with their child's best interests in mind.
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We provide the Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) screening which is required for anyone who participates in mediation with a lawyer, in a collabortive process or with a mediator/arbirtrator.
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