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  • Sea to Sky Law

Who Gets To Be The Guardian After the Parents Separate

Updated: 24 hours ago

family with baby

Recently achieved a significant victory at the Port Coquitlam Family Court for a father, namely an Order that he has sole Guardianship thus all parenting responsibilities, etc.

Under the 2013 Family Law Act, both parents living with their child before separation are both automatically Guardians immediately after separation. For the previous 30 years before 2013, under the old Family Relations Act (FRA), the mother as the primary caregiver often had sole custody after separation because that was the societal norm. Today there is no more FRA custody, and both parents of any sex can be FLA Guardians if they lived with their child before separation.

The case law has developed that it is rare that a parent should lose the title or position of Guardian since child psychologists confirm that a child has better development if both parents are involved in the child's life. Note - only Guardians can have parenting responsibilities (decision-making) and parenting time.

If not a Guardian then one can only have Contact time - which is at the discretion of the Guardian(s) and the Courts usually defer to the views of the Guardians since they of course know the child best.

Thus removing the title of Guardian from a parent must be proven to be in the best interests of the child, since the one parent who is not a Guardian is basically at the whim of the sole Guardian.

We help our clients from Whiterock to Whistler and Sechelt to Chilliwack. 778-728-0208

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