What are “parental responsibilities”?

February 22, 2021

In family law, there are a lot of terms that can be confusing- guardianship, parenting time, parental responsibilities, and residence.  

“Parental responsibilities” is a term that clients often misunderstand. Many people think that parental responsibilities aren’t important, and either fail to ask for them, or let the other side have all of the parental responsibilities. They don’t realize that parental responsibilities have a legal definition. 

The provincial legislation on family law matters is called the Family Law Act. It has a section that outlines what parental responsibilities are. 

For example, if you have parental responsibilities for your child, you get to: 

  • Make day to day decisions for your child;
  • Decide where your child will live;
  • Make decisions about who your child will see or spend time with;
  • Choose your child’s school or extracurricular activities;
  • Apply for a passport or benefit for your child;
  • Make medical decisions for your child;
  • Request information about your child from a doctor, counsellor or even the child’s school. 

The above responsibilities can be divided up between the parents, held entirely by one parent, or shared equally by both. 

As you can see, parental responsibilities are key to maintaining decision making power in your child’s life. This is why it is so important to understand the meaning of different terms when making agreements or dealing with court documents. 

If you have any questions about guardianship, parental responsibilities or any other family law issue, on of MJB Lawyers’ family lawyers would be happy to assist you. 

Share this article:

Get your interests represented

As one of the largest law firms in the Interior, our lawyers have a broad range of specializations, ensuring that we have the experience to competently and professionally represent you.

Get in touch