Child Custody and Guardianship

Child Custody and Guardianship

Our team is committed to assisting with your child custody & guardianship issues in the greater Edmonton area. We understand that the decision making and guardianship of the child is a very serious issue for parents, we are here to help.

Some of the common questions our child custody lawyers in Edmonton hear when dealing with child custody issues is:

  • I want sole custody, how do I achieve this goal?
  • Will my ex be granted sole custody?
  • Who makes the decisions regarding the children?
  • Can I decide to move out of province with the kids without the permission of my ex?
  • Can I travel outside of the province or country without my ex’s permission?
  • Can I change my custody order?
  • Can I get full custody of my child and still get child support?
  • Some of the common questions we hear when dealing with guardianship issues is:
  • Am I a guardian?
  • How do I become a guardian?
  • Can a child have more than one legal guardian?
  • I am a grandparent, can I be a guardian to my grandchild?
  • Can I remove my ex from being a guardian of my child?

What is Custody?

What some parents don’t realize is custody is a separate issue from parenting. Custody governs the parents’ responsibilities and rights regarding the children’s upbringing and deals with the decision making regarding the children of the marriage. There are different types of custody, which are as follows:

Joint Custody
Joint custody is when both parents are capable of making decisions in the best interests of the child. A joint custody arrangement is the most common in Alberta.

This allows the Parents have to be able to work together and communicate. Having joint custody does not decide the amount of time you have your child for.

The child could live with one parent 90% of the time, but the parents have joint custody.

Sole Custody
This is a rare arrangement in Alberta. This is where one parent has full custody. In this case the child resides with one parent and this parent makes all of the daily and major decisions. The parent without custody usually still has some access to the child.

  • The decisions that you are allowed to make are:
  • the child’s place of residence;
  • the child’s education;
  • the child’s extracurricular school activities;
  • the child’s cultural upbringing;
  • the child’s spiritual upbringing;
  • whom the child will associate with;
  • whether the child should work and, if so, the details of the work;
  • give consent to health-related treatment for the child;
  • give consent of a parent or guardian where required;
  • receive and respond to any notice to a parent or guardian;
  • deal with any legal proceedings relating to the child;
  • appoint a person to act on behalf of the guardian in an emergency; situation or when the guardian is temporarily absent; and receive any health, educational and other information that may significantly affect the child.

What is a Guardian?

A guardian has certain rights and responsibilities when it comes to a child. A guardian is entitled to be allowed to make decisions regarding their child’s life. They are able to have enough contact in their life to exercise those rights. A guardian is also responsible for a child’s physical and emotional well being.

Who is a Guardian?
The Family Law Act sets out who is a guardian of a child. Both parents of the child are guardians if:

  • You were married to each other when your child was born;
  • You were married to each other, but divorced before your child was born;
  • You lived together for at least 12 months or you were in an interdependent relationship before your child was born; or
  • In some case if you were married or became adult interdependent partners after your child was born.

There are times when you were not living together or married when your child was born. In those cases a parent is a guardian if that parent has shown an intention to fulfill the role and responsibilities of a guardian within one year of finding out about the pregnancy or the birth of your child. Some ways that a parent may show that intention are:

  • The parent voluntarily pays or offers to pay child support.
  • Offers to help care for the child and offers to helps other ways, such as buying formula, diapers, cloths etc.
  • The parent shows their intention to assume the responsibility of a Guardian.

If you are not a guardian and wish to become one you would apply to the courts to have a court order stating you are the guardian.

If you need assistance with child custody & guardianship issues in Edmonton don’t hesistate to contact us.