I am not the child’s guardian. Can I still have contact with the child?

Most of the time an agreement or order for contact is not needed. Under the law, contact is the time a person who is not guardian spends with the children under an agreement or order.

A parent who is not a guardian may have contact with the child. Grandparents, step-parents and others who are important to the child may also have contact with the child. Contact is a formal arrangement set up through an agreement or a court order.

A person who has contact with the child does not have parental responsibilities and can’t make major decisions about the child’s life.

Children often have important relationships with people other than their parents, including grandparents, relatives, and others close to the child. Usually these relationships are facilitated by the parents or guardians.

But if an agreement is not possible, the person who believes he or she should have contact with the child may apply for a court order. The judge will make a decision about contact with the child based only on the best interests of the child.

In some cases, there may be conditions on contact, such as having someone else supervise visits with the child.

For more information, see Parenting apart and Contact: Spending time with a child if you're not a guardian on Legal Aid BC's Family Law in BC website.