• Blog

Vancouver and Edmonton Family Law Blog

Understanding guardianship in British Columbia

Family law matters often have unique terminology that can change as family advocates strive to use language that most accurately describes the circumstances. Understanding these terms is important, especially if you have children and your family situation is in flux. For example, British Columbia laws are moving away from using the word "custody" to describe the relationship between a parent and child following a divorce or separation. Instead, the law describes this as guardianship.

If you are going through a divorce, are the parent of a child out of wedlock or are a concerned relative of a child in a difficult family situation, you may wish to gain as much information as possible about your rights and options related to the guardianship of the child.

How is parentage determined in British Columbia?

Becoming a parent can be the most life-changing experience a person can have. However, it can also be fraught with confusion and frustration if there are disputes over whether a person is, in fact, a parent. 

Below, we examine a few specific situations in which a person's status may be in question and what parents and others may do to resolve questions about parentage.

What is family property?

Dividing property in a divorce or separation can cause stress and concern for many people. 

Add in confusion over what is and is not eligible for division and people can get overwhelmed. However, learning what to expect from the process can make it a little easier to navigate. For instance, you should know what is and is not family property, and why the distinction matters.

Collaborative Law Options in Divorce


Although a divorce is a big transition, there are strategies for making the process smoother. One option is collaborative law. If the parties reach agreement in collaborative law negotiations, they can present their proposal to the court via a written agreement. Given that the typical divorce takes several months or much longer, collaborative law can be a way for parties who are willing to cooperate to save time and money.

Prenuptial Agreements Are Proactive for Your Marriage


Family law is designed to assist individuals at any age and through any life transition. Moreover, the law can be as proactive as parties are comfortable. For example, we have seen an increasing number of couples rely on the clarity of a prenuptial agreement when planning their marriage. This type of contract does not indicate a lack of confidence in a marriage, but rather, a proactive approach to the couple’s marital finances and estate planning.

Is a collaborative divorce a good fit?

Not every divorce involves contention and animosity that prevents two parties from ever seeing eye-to-eye. In fact, many divorcing couples work together to secure mutually agreeable solutions without ever having to go to court.

One way to do this is by seeking a collaborative divorce. However, this type of approach is not right for everyone. 

Understand your legal options. Make informed decisions. Contact the family law lawyers of Henderson Heinrichs LLP


Did You Enjoy Working With Our Firm?

Review Us

Vancouver Office
1188 West Georgia Street
Suite 1530
Vancouver, BC V6E 4A2

Toll Free: 866-649-7217
Toll Free: 1-844-669-3500
Phone: 604-669-3500
Fax: 604-689-9733
Vancouver Law Office Map

Edmonton Office
10025 102A Avenue NW
Suite 1812
Edmonton, AB T5J 2Z2

Toll Free: 866-649-7217
Toll Free: 1-844-669-3500
Phone: 780-428-0128
Fax: 780-428-1878
Edmonton Law Office Map