A guardian of a child has certain entitlements (rights), responsibilities and powers with respect to that child.
A guardian is entitled:
A guardian is responsible:
A guardian has the power:
If you have given birth to the child, then you are a guardian. The question comes up as to whether the other parent is a guardian.
If the other parent was married to the birth mother when the child was born, or married her after the child was born, then they are a guardian.
If the other parent had lived with the birth mother in an adult interdependent relationship at the time the child was born or after the child was born, then they are a guardian.
If the other parent lived with the birth mother for 12 months or more, during which time the child was born, then they are a guardian.
If the parents did not live together at all, but the other parent demonstrated an intention to assume the responsibilities of a guardian within a year of finding out about the pregnancy or the birth, then that parent is a guardian.
A parent can demonstrate an intention to assume the responsibilities of a guardian in many ways. Some of these are:
If a parent is not a guardian, but they want to be, they can apply to the court for guardianship. The court can make an order granting them guardianship.
If a non-parent wants to become a guardian of the child, they can apply to the court for guardianship. The court can make an order granting them guardianship.
A child can have several guardians.
The court can order guardianship on application:
Either the child or the applicant must reside in Alberta, but the court can waive this requirement.
For some kinds of applications, and in some parts of the province, you must come to a Family Justice Services office for an Intake appointment. At that appointment, we will screen for family violence, talk about options with you, answer any general legal questions that you may have and go through the court forms with you.
For other kinds of applications, you must do the paperwork yourself. We can give you the forms and instructions.
NOTE: If you are the biological parent of the child, you will still have to pay child support.