Some Information You Should Know About This Guide

Not a legal document

This guide is meant to provide legal information only and is not advice. It is not approved by the court. The guide is not an official court manual and following this guide does not guarantee success in a court hearing. Court procedures and requirements may change from time to time. This guide is accurate as of June 2011. This guide cannot provide a substitute for the experience, knowledge and expertise that a lawyer can provide.

Helpful to extended family members and others seeking access

This guide is for persons who want to have legal access to a child but who are not the parents of that child: grandparents, step-parents or other members of a child’s family and, in exceptional circumstances, persons who are not family members but who have had a significant and close relationship with a child. This guide has been written particularly to address the interests and concerns of grandparents. The language will reflect this throughout the guide. However, other extended family members (ex: step-parents, aunts and uncles) who are seeking access can also benefit from its content.
The law relating to access is similar for grandparents and other extended family members but it is somewhat different for non-family members as they may only apply for access to a child in “exceptional circumstances.” This guide can also be a useful resource for grandparents, other extended family members or others who want to better understand the process of applying for access (even when represented by a lawyer).
This guide only addresses access applications under Manitoba legislation (The Child and Family Services Act.)

This guide does NOT address

  • custody and guardianship issues
  • applications under The Divorce Act (This is federal legislation.)
  • applications for interim orders
  • oral hearings (trials)
  • appeals of court decisions

Legal Aid

You may contact Legal Aid Manitoba to determine if you are eligible for assistance.
If you require further assistance with this guide, please contact the Grandparent Advisor, Family Conciliation Services at 204-945-3277.