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March 18, 2022

Guardianship occurs when a person other than the parents gets appointed by the court to take care of a child. A guardian does not have to be related to the children in order to be appointed. It could be a relative, a family friend, or any other person that the court determines to be capable enough to carry out the duties of a legal guardian.

What a guardianship means for the parents, on the other hand, is a temporary suspension of their rights and authority to the same over their children.

However, this does not mean the parents are going to be completely cut off from their children. They do still have the obligation to provide child support through the guardian, after all, and they do still have the right to visit their children, under reasonable stipulations. 

A Pleasanton Guardianship Attorney can better guide the guardians through the process. But in the meantime, here is some of the more basic information you need to know about guardianship. 

Situations that Lead to Child Guardianship in CA

In California, parental incapacity is among the top situations that lead to legal guardianship. This incapacity can pertain to their physical inability to care for their child, such as if they are imprisoned or in rehabilitation. 

It’s also possible that one parent is critically ill, and so are unable to fulfill their parental duties, while the other is an absentee parent. History and propensity for abuse, alcohol or drug dependence, or overseas assignments for work such as being on a military tour are also possible scenarios that could lead to a legal guardianship. 

How Is Legal Guardianship Instituted?

An application must be filed to earn legal guardianship status. If you are thinking of becoming a legal guardian for a child, seek the help of a family law Pleasanton CA so you can properly file your application.

Once your application is received, the court will set up interviews with the various stakeholders, including yourself, the parents, and sometimes even the child. Expect a home visitation or inspection to establish capability to provide a safe and secure environment for the child, since the legal guardian gets physical custody. A criminal background check is also required.

Parents may appoint a legal guardian of their preference. This allows them to have a semblance of control as to who can take care of their child while they are unable to, and assign the responsibility to someone they actually know and trust. 

A Pleasanton child custody lawyer can help the parties involved go through the finer details of the arrangement.

Responsibilities of a Legal Guardian

Among the responsibilities and obligations of the guardian include their full physical custody, day-to-day care and supervision, education, and medical treatment. 

Termination of Legal Guardianship

To terminate a legal guardianship arrangement, the parent must file an application before the court. A legal guardianship may also  be terminated due to the natural expiration of the agreement, or when the guardian is now unable or unwilling to continue with the same. 

A divorce attorney Pleasanton CA can help with the termination of the guardianship and the reinstitution of custody to the parent. However, it must first be shown that this new arrangement is going to be in the best interest of the child.

In some cases, it is the ward themselves who file a request to overturn the guardianship with the court.

How Your Attorney Can Help

A Pleasanton uncontested divorce lawyer or a divorce mediation Pleasanton CA, such as from Tierney Law Group, can help facilitate the application for filing or termination or legal guardianship. They can help prepare the necessary documents to be submitted in court, as well as facilitate any other requirements, such as the home inspections or court interviews.