Guardianship under the Family Law Act

The term “guardian” is defined as follows in the definition section of the Family Law Act:

“guardian” means a guardian under section 39 [parents are generally guardians] and Division 3 [Guardianship] of Part 4;

Section 39 reads as follows:

Parents are generally guardians

39 (1) While a child’s parents are living together and after the child’s parents separate, each parent of the child is the child’s guardian.

(2) Despite subsection (1), an agreement or order made after separation or when the parents are about to separate may provide that a parent is not the child’s guardian.

(3) A parent who has never resided with his or her child is not the child’s guardian unless one of the following applies:

(a) section 30 [parentage if other arrangement] applies and the person is a parent under that section;

(b) the parent and all of the child’s guardians make an agreement providing that the parent is also a guardian;

(c) the parent regularly cares for the child.

(4) If a child’s guardian and a person who is not the child’s guardian marry or enter into a marriage-like relationship, the person does not become a guardian of that child by reason only of the marriage or marriage-like relationship.

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