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Alison Rhynas



Nicholas Picard

Nicholas Picard



What is Guardianship?

In British Columbia, parents are generally considered to be guardians of their minor children by default if they have lived with that child and/or regularly provide care for the child. Guardians have primary responsibility for the care and well-being of their children under the law.

Under the Family Law Act of British Columbia, a parent is defined as “a person who is a guardian of a child and includes a person who has been determined to be a parent under the Act” (Family Law Act, s. 1). This definition encompasses both biological and adoptive parents, as well as individuals who have been recognized as legal parents through other means, such as assisted reproduction agreements or court orders.

While parents are typically considered guardians of their children, there are situations where others may also be appointed as guardians. For example, perhaps a parent is unable to care for their child due to incapacity or other circumstances. In such cases, the court may appoint alternative guardians to act in the best interests of the children.

Applying for Guardianship

An application for guardianship is a legal process that allows an individual to become a guardian by court order. The applicant will need to complete a series of time-sensitive checks to prove they are a capable and safe potential guardian. The application must outline why guardianship is in the best interests of the child. The court may also terminate the guardianship of an individual if satisfied it is in the child’s best interests to do so.

After filing the application, certain parties, such as existing guardians, other family members, or other interested parties, may need to be notified of the proceedings.

Court Hearing and Order

Once the necessary assessments and investigations are complete, the court may be satisfied to grant the order if it is made by consent, or a hearing may be required. During the hearing, the proposed guardian will have the opportunity to present their case, and any opposing parties will have the chance to respond. If the court is satisfied that guardianship is in the best interests of the child, the court will issue a court order appointing the guardian.

Family Lawyers in Victoria

Navigating the guardianship process can be complex. It is a good idea to seek legal advice from a family lawyer who is familiar with British Columbia’s guardianship laws when making any application about guardianship. At Velletta Pedersen Christie, our family lawyers can help guide you through the process and help you make informed decisions about the future care of your loved one. Our family lawyers in Victoria, BC are prepared to assist you in any stage of a guardianship matter or dispute.

Please contact us to assist with any stage of your guardianship matter.