Some terms in the Divorce Act changed on March 1, 2021

Effective March 1, 2021, the federal Divorce Act uses terms similar to those in the BC Family Law Act.

  • The terms decision-making responsibility and parenting time replaces "custody."
  • The terms contact and parenting time replace "access."

The BC Family Law Act uses the term guardian to describe people who:  

  • spend time with and care for the child, and  

  • are responsible for making decisions that affect them. 

Guardianship: Parenting time and parental responsibilities

Learn how you can make a parenting agreement about how you'll share parenting time and parental responsibilities after you separate.

Decision-making responsibility and parenting time

Learn about what terms the Divorce Act uses to describe the arrangements separating parents (who are or used to be married) make for their children. 

How can you become a child's guardian?

Anyone can apply to become a child's guardian but the court will only consider what's best for the child. Find out how to apply to become a guardian.

If you're 19 or over and want to become a guardian of your underage siblings, see also Can you be a guardian of your younger siblings?

What will happen if you die or can't take care of your child?

If you die or can't take care of your children, what happens to them depends on what plans you've made for them. Find out what you can do to make back-up plans for your child's future care.