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:
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.
There are two types of guardianships that can be established in California:
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.
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:
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.
You do not have to be a relative to be appointed a guardian of a child. Most often, guardians can include:
The guardian can be another person not listed in one of the above categories but should typically be someone the child knows.
There are many situations that can lead to the need for a guardian. In most cases, the parent(s):
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.