Certified Family Law Specialist, State Bar of California, and Board of Legal Specialization

When a child’s parent(s) are no longer able to care for the child for whatever reason, a California court may appoint another person to be the child’s guardian. This is known as guardianship. Guardians are legally obligated and authorized to make important decisions about the child (who is legally referred to as “the ward”), including:

  • Overall care,
  • Education,
  • Medical treatment, and
  • Supervision.

The parents of the child no longer have the legal right or responsibility to make decisions about the above-listed matters so long as the guardianship is in effect. Parents, however, may be able to visit with the child and may, in some cases, be ordered to pay child support to the guardian.

Guardianships are an important tool for the State of California to help make sure, according to California Family Code 3041, that the best interests of the child are met in situations where the parent(s) can’t or is unwilling to exercise parental responsibilities. These cases can be complex and emotionally traumatizing. If you are seeking guardianship of a child, you will need an experienced Agoura Hills lawyer to guide you through the process. At Hoffer Family Law Firm, our child custody lawyers are committed to the best interests of the child – contact our office today to schedule an appointment.

Types of Guardianship in California

There are two types of guardianships that can be established in California:

  1. guardianship of the person, and
  2. guardianship of the estate.

Under both of these types, parents still retain some parental rights, like visitation. Also, once the parents are able to take care of the child again, the guardianship can be terminated. Sometimes people confuse this process with adoption, but in adoption, parents permanently lose all rights to the child while under this situation, the loss is only temporary.

Guardianship of the Person

When a court appoints you as a guardianship of the person, you have all the same rights and responsibilities of the parent. You must provide:

  • supervision of the child (and can be held liable for any intentional wrongdoing of the child);
  • food, clothing, and a home;
  • healthcare, including medical and dental;
  • education, including any special needs;
  • activities and care for physical and emotional growth; and
  • overall safety and security.

Guardianship of the Estate

This type of guardianship is established to manage the child’s money (earned or inherited) or property and make good investments until the child turns 18 years old.

Persons Who Can Be Legal Guardians

You do not have to be a relative to be appointed a guardian of a child. Most often, guardians can include:

  • grandparents;
  • siblings;
  • extended relatives, like aunts and uncles;
  • foster parents; or
  • family friends.

The guardian can be another person not listed in one of the above categories but should typically be someone the child knows.

Situations that Can Lead to the Need of a Guardian in Agoura Hills

There are many situations that can lead to the need for a guardian. In most cases, the parent(s):

  • has a serious physical or mental illness,
  • is in the military and overseas,
  • is in jail,
  • is in rehabilitation,
  • has a substance abuse problem, or
  • is abusive.

Contact an Agoura Hills Guardianship Attorney Today

If you want to request the court to be a guardian or for another person to be the guardian of a child, contact Hoffer Family Law Firm today. Our Agoura Hills guardianship lawyers could help you through this process.

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