Parental Responsibilities under BC Family Law Act
Parental responsibilities include decision making for the child. The Family Law Act states that only a guardian can have parental responsibilities. Unless an order provides otherwise, a child’s guardian may exercise all parental responsibilities, in consultation with the other guardian(s). A child's guardian must exercise his or her parental responsibilities in the best interests of the child.
Parenting responsibilities include the following:
(a) making day-to-day decisions affecting the child and having day-to-day care, control and supervision of the child;
(b) making decisions respecting where the child will reside;
(c) making decisions respecting with whom the child will live and associate;
(d) making decisions respecting the child's education and participation in extracurricular activities, including the nature, extent and location;
(e) making decisions respecting the child's cultural, linguistic, religious and spiritual upbringing and heritage, including, if the child is an Indigenous child, the child's Indigenous identity;
(f) subject to section 17 of the Infants Act, giving, refusing or withdrawing consent to medical, dental and other health-related treatments for the child;
(g) applying for a passport, licence, permit, benefit, privilege or other thing for the child;
(h) giving, refusing or withdrawing consent for the child, if consent is required;
(i) receiving and responding to any notice that a parent or guardian is entitled or required by law to receive;
(j) requesting and receiving from third parties health, education or other information respecting the child;
(k) subject to any applicable provincial legislation,
(i) starting, defending, compromising or settling any proceeding relating to the child, and
(ii) identifying, advancing and protecting the child's legal and financial interests;
(l) exercising any other responsibilities reasonably necessary to nurture the child's development.
Under section 40 (4) of the Family Law Act, when determining parenting arrangements, the court should not presume that parental responsibilities should be allocated equally among guardians, or that parenting time should be shared equally among guardians. The court should not presume that decisions among guardians should be made separately or together.