Custody, Guardianship and Access

If you want to be responsible for your child's care, select the resources on child custody. If you are wondering about visitation rights with your child, you are interested in access. If you want to know more about being granted parental authority over a child, resources on guardianship will be of interest to you.

For resources about obtaining guardianship for an adult who is incapacitated, see the site section: Adult Guardianship and Trusteeship

The resources on this page were hand-picked by the Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta's staff as a good place to start.


CPLEA Suggested Resources

Not sure where to begin finding answers to your questions. Get started with our suggested resources. See additional resources below for more information.

CPLEA has created new resources on Family Law in Alberta in partnership with the Edmonton Community Legal Centre. The five booklets in the series provide practical legal information on Child Custody and ParentingFinancial SupportProperty Division, Representing Yourself in Family Court, and Young Parents. The booklets provide information for both married and unmarried couples.  The booklets can be downloaded for free at www.cplea.ca/publications. Select Family Law from the drop down menu.

Related legal topic(s): Child support, Common law relationships, Custody and access, Divorce and separation, Family law general resources, Guardianship and trusteeship, Self-representation

These FAQs are provided by the Canadian Legal FAQs, a website of the Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta.

Related legal topic(s): Child support, Custody and access, Divorce and separation

These online FAQs are provided by Canadian Legal FAQs, a website of the Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta. These FAQs deal with divorce and provide information regarding: Divorce Act; Grounds for Divorce; Children and Divorce; Custody; Access; Child Support; and Mobility Rights.

Related legal topic(s): Child support, Custody and access, Divorce and separation, Family law general resources, Spousal support

A series of FAQs prepared by Legal Aid Alberta. The questions answered cover: how the courts will make a decision, do I have a right to see my grandchild, how to apply to become my grnadchilds' guardian, and more...

Related legal topic(s): Custody and access

Alberta Resources

This group of programs and services is offered by Alberta Justice in collaboration with the courts of Alberta. This webpage provides general information for those who are representing themselves in a family matter in either Court of Queen's Bench or The Provincial Court of Alberta.

This service is for people who don’t have a lawyer. Use it to:

  • prepare for court
  • navigate your family law matter through the Provincial Court
  • discuss your issues, explore your options and get you referrals
  • get a court order prepared and filed with the Court of Queen’s Bench and then have copies sent to the other party – after a parenting-related hearing
  • review your divorce before its submitted to the Court of Queen’s Bench
Related legal topic(s): Adoption, Custody and access, Divorce and separation, Family law general resources, Self-representation, Spousal support

How to apply for an order that determines which guardian is directly responsible for the child and has the right to visit the child. This Alberta government website provides information on how to apply and file your order. It also has links to the relevant forms and information that will assist you in completeing the forms correctly.

Related legal topic(s): Custody and access

This online resource from Alberta Human Services relates to situations when an adult would like to become a guardian of a child to support or replace the parent. It explains private guardianship and the process of applying for a private guardianship order.

Related legal topic(s): Guardianship and trusteeship

This Alberta government webpage provides information on how to apply to change the conditions of your Custody and Access Order. The information provided includes how to apply if an order is from Alberta and how to apply if an order is from outside Alberta.
Related legal topic(s): Custody and access

Custody is the rights and responsibilities of the children’s care and upbringing. This information is provided by Calgary Legal Guidance. It discusses custody, parenting, and contact of children after separation or divorce.

Related legal topic(s): Custody and access

This online resource is from the Student Legal Services of Edmonton. This information is for  non-married parents, Adult Interdependent Partners and married parents not seeking a divorce. Topics include: Who Is A Parent?; Who Is A Guardian?; Parenting Orders; Parenting Time; The “Best Interests” Of The Child; Contact Orders; Court Orders; Frequently Asked Questions. This resource is also available for download as a PDF.

Related legal topic(s): Common law relationships, Custody and access

This online resource about Family law is provided by Legal Aid Alberta. It includes information about: marriage and 'common law relationships'; divorce; property rights, and guardianship of children; and explains some of the differences between a marriage and an Adult Interdependent Relationship.

Related legal topic(s): Common law relationships, Divorce and separation, Guardianship and trusteeship, Marriage

This guide was developed for frontline service providers in Alberta who work with vulnerable individuals. It provides general legal information on Alberta law only.

Related legal topic(s): Custody and access, Divorce and separation, Family law general resources, Family violence general resources, Protective orders, Spousal support

The kits are a series of plain language resources which include forms and instructions to make applications and appeals for parenting, guardianship,  custody and access, contact, enforcement of time with a child, child support, spousal support and other applications under the Family Law Act in Alberta. These booklets and kits are helpful to self represented litigants as they provide not only general information, but also step by step instructions and precedents.

Related legal topic(s): Custody and access, Divorce and separation, Family law general resources, Guardianship and trusteeship, Self-representation, Spousal support

This booklet will give you general information about the law relating to guardianship, parenting, custody, access and contact.and the principles applied by the court when deciding matters relating to the care of children. If your application deals with these issues, you should read this booklet before starting to fill out your court forms. This information is general in nature, and is not intended to be an in-depth discussion of all legal issues relating to children.  

Related legal topic(s): Child support, Family law general resources, Self-representation

Canada/Federal

LawNow is a bi-monthly digital public legal education magazine which has been  published by the Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta for 40 years.  Its articles  and columns are written in plain language take a practical look at how the law relates to the every day lives of Canadians. In each issue, LawNow’s aboriginal law column takes a look at a specific topic in this area of law and explains it clearly and concisely.

Related legal topic(s): Aboriginal law, Aboriginal self-governance

Provides information on the various kinds of custody arrangements and provides links to Justice Canada publications which may be of use to parents going through separation or divorce.
Related legal topic(s): Custody and access

There could be many valid reasons why a parent with sole custody of his or her children might want to move to a new city or province. It could be a positive step such as a new and promising job for the parent or their new partner, or for more family support from extended family. It could be for more difficult reasons such as financial necessity or fear of the other parent. Whatever the reasons, there are legal issues that should be faced openly and in a timely manner. This resource looks at some of the  things to consider. about mobility rights. You may want to see also: Canadian Legal FAQs - Family Law - Mobility Rights. This tipsheet is produced by the Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta (CPLEA).

Related legal topic(s): Family law general resources