Custody, Guardianship, & Parenting Time_ A Guide to Family Law


Custody, guardianship, and parenting time are legal terms that refer to the care and control of a child. These terms are particularly important for parents going through a separation or divorce. This article will define these terms and discuss why hiring a child custody lawyer is important.

What Is Custody? 

Legal responsibility for a child’s upbringing and governance is called custody. The two types of custody are legal custody and physical custody.

With legal custody, a parent can decide about their child’s upbringing, including where they attend school, what kind of medical care they get, and what religion they follow. The child’s residence and household members are referred to as their physical custody. When a parent has physical custody, they are responsible for providing the child with food, shelter, and other basic needs.

What is Guardianship? 

Guardianship is a legal arrangement that gives someone, not the child’s parent, the right to care for the child. This may occur if a parent is incapable or unwilling to meet the child’s requirements or if the child’s parents have passed away. A guardian is responsible for deciding the child’s upbringing and providing for their basic needs.

What Is Parenting Time? 

Parenting time, also known as access or visitation, refers to the time a parent spends with their child. This can occur during scheduled visits or on an informal basis. Parenting time is an essential part of a child’s life, as it allows them to maintain a relationship with both parents.

Why Should You Hire a Child Custody Lawyer?

When parents separate or divorce, custody, guardianship, and parenting time issues can be complex and emotional. Hiring a child custody or family lawyer can help parents navigate these issues and protect their child’s interests.

Here are reasons why you should consider hiring a child custody lawyer:

  • Legal Expertise: A child custody lawyer has the legal knowledge and expertise to help you understand your rights and obligations as a parent. They can explain the legal implications of different custody and guardianship arrangements and help you make informed decisions about your child’s care.
  • Mediation: A child custody lawyer can help you negotiate with your partner or spouse to reach a custody and parenting time agreement. Resolving custody disputes through mediation can be less stressful for parents and kids because it is less aggressive and more cooperative.
  • Court Representation: If you cannot agree with your partner or spouse, a child custody lawyer can represent you in court. They can present your case to the judge and argue for a custody arrangement in your child’s best interests.
  • Child Protection: If you believe that your child is at risk of harm, a child custody lawyer can help you take steps to protect them. They can advise you on reporting abuse or neglect and represent you in court if necessary.
  • Support: A separation or divorce can be emotionally challenging, particularly when children are involved. A child custody lawyer can provide emotional support and help you navigate the legal process with compassion and understanding.

Specific British Columbia laws govern custody, guardianship, and parenting time. For example, the Family Law Act outlines the legal framework for these issues and the factors a court must consider when deciding about a child’s care and control.

Hiring a child custody or family lawyer can help you understand these laws and how they apply to your situation. A lawyer helps you navigate the legal system and advocate for your rights as a parent.

In addition, a child custody lawyer can help you create a parenting plan tailored to your family’s needs. This can include arrangements for custody, guardianship, parenting time, and details about how decisions will be made and how conflicts will be resolved.

Overall, hiring a child custody lawyer can help you achieve the best possible outcome for your family. Whether you need legal expertise, mediation, court representation, child protection, or emotional support, a lawyer can provide you with the guidance and advocacy you need during this challenging time.


Custody, guardianship, and parenting time are important legal terms that relate to the care and control of a child. When parents separate or divorce, these issues can be complex and emotional. Hiring a child custody lawyer can help you navigate these issues and protect your child’s interests. A lawyer can give you the direction and advocacy you need to get the best result for your family, whether you require legal knowledge, mediation, court representation, or a child support guide.

Dreyer and Associates proudly serves the best interests of families across the Fraser Valley and the Lower Mainland. Although we have extensive experience in family law, wills and estates, and residential conveyancing, family law remains our main area of concentration. Book a consultation with a child custody lawyer today!





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