When you hear the term “Guardianship” in legal settings, what is being referred to is a package of responsibilities and rights that come with having a legal interest in a child.
If you are a guardian of a child, you have the responsibility and the obligation to ensure that the child’s best interests are cared for.
You also have a right to make a court application with respect to the wellbeing of the child.
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Parents are not automatically permanent guardians to a child. It depends on the circumstances.
As well, non-parents can be made guardians. For example, sometimes a grandparent is made a guardian of a child by way of court order. This means that the grandparent has the right to receive information about the child, has the obligation to satisfy themselves that the child’s interests are looked after and has the ability to make court applications with respect to the child if need be.
Being a guardian does not in and of itself include an automatic right to have the child reside with you, nor does it include an obligation to pay support for the child.
For more information on guardianship in Alberta, consult section 21 of the Family Law Act. Click here to access the Family Law Act