Terms For Guardianship (Custody, Access, parenting) In Canada - Zukerman Law

Terms For Guardianship, Custody And Access In Canada

Parenting apart is one thing that will happen after a divorce. You and your ex may share responsibilities, but you both may have to care for your child or children on your own from time to time. When you separate, you both must make decisions to affect your children. You will need to decide how your parenting arrangement will work and how to create a situation that is in the best interests of your child. Determining your responsibilities is important, and your lawyer will be able to help; you should know that when reading the laws, some terminology differences may come up.

When you gain guardianship over a child, you have parental responsibilities to him or her. Both parties can have equal responsibilities, or one person may have day-to-day care responsibilities while the other is supportive in other ways.

Guardianship used to be known as custody, but it was found that the term was too combative; it made it seem like someone was losing a fight instead of simply sharing time with a child with another parent outside the home. Instead of focusing on the time away from a child, the new term aims to help parents focus on their rights and responsibilities to their children.

Under the federal Divorce Act, you may still find that the terms custody and access are used, because federal terms have not been changed. Provincial laws have, which is why you find a difference in terminology between the two courts. In any case, the terms mean the same thing and can be applied to your case in the same way.


Stuart Zukerman

Stuart Zukerman, a graduate of the University of British Columbia, has over 32 years of experience in litigation with a focus on Family Law, Personal Injury, Wrongful Dismissal claims, and Collaborative Divorce & Mediation. He has extensive trial experience in divorce, child custody, spousal support, asset division, and ICBC injury claims. As an accredited Family Law Mediator, he helps resolve disputes without court intervention. Stuart has also authored papers on family law and lectured at CLE courses.