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Legal Guardianship

A guardian is accountable for the care and raising of their kid. Parental duties and parenting time might only be given to a guardian. According to the Family Law Act, both parents will continue to be guardians of their children after their divorce, and both will have parenting time and parental obligations. 

This doesn’t imply that parents should be given equal time or responsibilities or that they should act in unison on all issues. Each parent has legal guardianship and parental duties, which they might share or exercise independently, based on what is best for their kid.

Parenting time

Parenting time refers to the time spent by a guardian with their children. You make day-to-day choices regarding the children and are responsible for their supervision and care throughout your parenting time. If you divorce, then you’ll need to figure out how you’ll share parenting time.

​Parental responsibilities

Parental obligations are the duties that parents and guardians have when it comes to raising a kid, including everyday decisions made while caring for the child. Education, religion, and medical care are all essential and come with many difficult decisions. Receiving information about the child’s health and education from others, as well as safeguarding the child’s legal and financial interests. 

Parents might customize their parenting plans to fit their family’s needs. The only criterion for making judgments on parenting arrangements is that they must be in the kid’s best interests. The Family Law Act lays forth a list of parental obligations that might be shared so that each parent is responsible for the same thing or assigned to one guardian but not the other.

How Do Parenting Arrangements Work?

After a divorce, parenting arrangements specify how guardians will split parenting time as well as parental obligations. When deciding on parenting arrangements following a divorce, the law states that you must only consider the child’s best interests. You may decide that the children will live primarily with one parent, that they will spend equal time with both parents, or that you will do something in the middle. In the vast majority of situations, both you and the other parent will remain guardians.

The following are some examples of customized parenting arrangements:

  • In a co-parenting agreement, each guardian will be responsible for all aspects of parenting and will split time and duties.
  • The parental obligations will be explicitly delegated by the guardians, with each parent having distinct tasks in different regions or throughout their parenting time. 

For example, the guardians may agree that one will be in charge of the child’s extracurricular activities while the other will be in charge of the school.

  • One guardian has the bulk of parenting time and parental duty, while the other guardian has limited parenting time and parental obligations, such as access to the child’s information.

In some instances, a parent’s role as a guardian might not be acceptable. By consent or court decision, a parent can be removed as a guardian. If a parent is not a guardian, then they can still spend time with their child but won’t be responsible for them. Before making any decisions regarding your future parenting arrangements, we urge that you get legal counsel.

Legal Guardianship Vs. Adoption

Although both adoption and guardianship in Canada are legal arrangements for the care and custody of children, there are some significant differences between the two. The most significant difference is the duration of the agreement. In contrast, adoption permanently leaves a kid with a new family, and legal guardianship is often a temporary arrangement established by a child’s legal parents through transferring legal guardianship to a close friend or family member. 

Because they have certain similarities, many people mix up adoption with guardianship. The most significant of them is that both procedures can provide a kid with a stable environment. Both agreements place a parent in charge of a kid who is not their biological child. 

Both adoptive parents and legal guardians are responsible for addressing the child’s fundamental requirements, such as providing love and support, ensuring that they are nourished and clothed, and so on. 

The conditions of guardianship vs. adoption and the legal powers granted to adoptive parents vs. guardians, and the scenarios in which either solution is suitable to differ significantly.

Adoptive parents and legal guardians are both capable of providing the care, support, and stability that a kid needs. The implications of each legal structure, however, differ substantially. The following are some of the most significant distinctions between adoption and guardianship:

Parental rights: 

Adoption ends the rights of the biological or legal parents, while legal guardianship in Canada preserves the parents’ legal rights. When a kid is adopted, the adoptive parents are given full legal parental rights, and birth parents cannot retrieve their child after the adoption is completed. 

In a legal guardianship, however, the biological/legal parents have the right to terminate the guardianship and recover custody of their child at any time.


Adoption ensures a child’s inheritance rights, but legal guardians must include a specific provision in their will if they want to pass on their fortune.

Child support: 

Adoption ensures a child’s inheritance rights, but legal guardians must include a specific provision in their will if they want to pass on their fortune.


Adoption is usually a more complicated legal procedure than legal guardianship.


Adoption is a long-term commitment, but legal guardianship is just temporary.

Common Terms Used in the Area of Legal Guardianship

Conservator A person or organization appointed by the court to manage the financial affairs of another individual. All income is collected and deposited, all obligations and bills are paid, all assets are secured, and the conservator handles taxes and insurance.
Full Guardian A full guardian is appointed to make all medical, housing, service, legal, and financial decisions on behalf of another person known as the ward.
General Guardianship A kind of guardianship that allows the guardian to exercise all of the incapacitated person’s rights and powers in the area of responsibility to which he or she has been assigned. Full or plenary guardianship is another term for general guardianship.
Guardian by Testamentary Appointment A guardian is someone who is named in a will. A good example is when a parent or guardian of a developmentally challenged kid names the child’s successor guardian in his or her will. To get signed Orders, the replacement guardian must request a Probate Court hearing.


Pro Tip

“Getting approved as a legal guardian is a challenging task. That is why consulting a legal expert first before doing anything should be your top priority.”


Caring for someone is a difficult responsibility, which is why you should ask yourself a lot of questions before filing for legal guardianship. If you’ve made up your mind, you may call Gelman & Associates for the legal help you’ll need to get your guardianship granted. Gelman & Associates will be there for you every step of the way to make sure you get the most exemplary possible service. We may be reached at 844-769-0737.

To apply to be a guardian, you must be 18 years old or older, legally consent to be a guardian, and consider the other parties’ opinions and desires. You must file paperwork with the court and go through a series of processes leading up to a court hearing to become a guardian. You don’t need to hire a lawyer in most cases. However, filling out court paperwork and “giving notice” to all relatives takes a significant amount of time and effort.

Yes. Typically, guardians are family members who volunteer out of the goodness of their hearts, although it’s possible to get compensated as a guardian. You will need to provide proof of legal guardianship to the relevant authorities to be able to claim such compensation.

When informal aid is insufficient, and there is no representation agreement or enduring power of attorney in place, an adult guardian is appointed.

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