Parenting & guardianship

If your relationship ends, you and the child's other parent need to make arrangements for any dependent children you have. This includes making parenting arrangements, and maybe even contact arrangements for other relatives and important people involved in the child's life.

When you're making decisions about your child, they need to be in the child's best interests. If the courts are involved, a judge will only ever consider what's best for the child.


How a person can become a parent, the rights and responsibilities of step-parents, and how you can get help resolving parenting issues after separation.


Under the Family Law Act, what it means to be a child's guardian, who can be a guardian, and how to become a guardian. (The Divorce Act doesn't use this term.)

Parenting apart

Explains the different terms used to describe parenting after separation, such as:

  • guardianship, parenting responsibilities, parenting time, and contact with a child under the BC Family Law Act, and
  • decision-making responsibility, parenting time, and contact under the federal Divorce Act.

Decision-making responsibility and parenting time

Under the federal Divorce Act, decision-making responsibility and parenting time are the arrangements divorcing spouses make for their children. (You might have heard the terms custody and access, but these aren't used anymore.)

Contact with a child

The time that a child spends with grandparents, aunts and uncles, and other important people in the child's life.

Moving and travelling with your children

When you share guardianship, parenting arrangements, or contact with your child with someone, you might need to take certain steps if you're thinking about moving away or travelling with your child.