What is the difference between Guardianship and Custody?
On March 18, 2013, the Family Law Act came into force and replaced the old Family Relations Act. Under the current law the concept of “child custody” has been removed and replaced with child “guardianship”.
Section 39 of the Family Law Act explains that parents who live with their children are guardians and both parents remain guardians after separation. This is normally the case without the need for a court order. This is different than the old Family Relations Act which said that when parents separate, the parent with whom the child lives has “custody” and “guardianship”. Under the new Family Law Act, responsibility for a child does not necessarily change merely because the parents have separated.
Some important notes:
- A parent who has never lived with a child can apply to be a guardian
- It is possible for a child to have more than two guardians
- It is possible for a non-parent to become a guardian
- Stepparents do not become guardians by virtue of a marriage with a child’s guardian, but they can apply to be guardians
- It is possible to remove a person as a guardian
The concept of guardianship and the many possible outcomes available can be complex. The experienced lawyers at Jabour Sudeyko Lucky can help by making the process less stressful.
Contact us to see how we can help. First consultations are free.
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