Guardianships give adults a chance to take care of children whose parents are unable to take care of the kids themselves. In some situations, a biological parent may abuse drugs or alcohol and be unfit to act as parents. In other situations, a single parent may be leaving soon to serve in Iraq or Afghanistan.
With some similarities to adoption, in guardianship the court awards legal custody of a child to someone other than the child’s parents. The guardian lives with the child and is responsible for his or her health care, education and social services, such as after-school programs, or in the case of disabled children, regional centers for learning disabilities. The parents are still financially responsible to provide child support, however if unable to do so, the guardian may support the child or can apply for financial assistance through welfare, foster care or other help agencies.
Unlike in an adoption, in a guardianship a child is still related to his or her birth parents, and the court can allow visitation if appropriate. A guardianship can last until the child is 18 years old or until the court ends the guardianship, assigns a different guardian, or gives the child back to the parents. Guardianships aren’t limited to relatives; friends or people who know the child can also be selected as guardians.
The experienced family law attorneys at the Stockdale Law Firm, Inc. in El Dorado Hills, have handled guardianship matters across California and we can prepare all of the required paperwork, making sure everyone is properly notified or served.
If you would like to schedule an initial consultation with one of our Firm’s attorneys to learn how we can help you with your guardianship matter, please complete this online request form.