A legal guardian is responsible for making decisions regarding a minor person’s personal affairs and living situation. Typically, a guardian takes care of a minor’s personal needs, including shelter, education, and medical care. A guardian may also provide financial management of a child’s assets, although sometimes a second person (often called a “guardian of the estate”) is appointed for this purpose.
To establish legal guardianship for minors in California, an individual must initiate a guardianship case in the county where the child resides. Furthermore, we help to complete the following required forms when submitting a petition for guardianship of minor children:
Petition for Appointment of Guardian of Minor
Required attachments to Petition
Notice of Hearing
Consent of Proposed Guardian
Duties of Guardian
Letters of Guardianship
Declaration Under Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA)
Confidential Guardian Screening Form
Any other forms the local court requires
There are several distinctions between a guardianship and an adoption. Firstly, adoption involves replacing one set of parents with another, thereby treating the adopted child as if they were born to the adopting parents.
In a guardianship, parents retain their parental rights and can request reasonable contact with the child from the court. Conversely, adoption results in the permanent termination of parental rights. Where a guardianship may be terminated if the parents become capable or willing to care for the child. If appointed as a child’s legal guardian, you will be subject to court supervision, where adoptive parents are not. Lastly, an adopted child would inherit from their adoptive parents, like a biological child, whereas a child under guardianship would not inherit from your estate.
Guardianship might become necessary when parents are incapable of caring for their child. This could occur if one or both parents suffer from a severe physical or mental illness, are serving in the military and deployed abroad, are undergoing long-term rehabilitation, are incarcerated, struggle with substance abuse, or have a history of abusive behavior.
A temporary guardianship is appointed in urgent situations and the temporary guardian serves until the a final determination on a petition for appointment of a guardian. A temporary guardianship cannot be requested until a general petition for appointment of a guardian has been filed.