Many California children are legally cared for by guardians instead of parents. A guardian is appointed by the court and is responsible to care for a minor child. Guardianship is common in cases where a parent dies, there is physical abuse or neglect, or there is other parental incapacity or unavailability to parent.
Becoming a guardian means that you are responsible for providing adequate care and providing for the child’s best interests in a positive and nurturing environment. The court will investigate your background to verify there are no detrimental factors in your background that would cause you to be unable to safely care for the child. The responsibilities of the guardian include day-to-day care like food, housing, and transportation and as well as making decisions about housing, medical care, education, and finances. Whatever the reason the parents could not take care of the child, the role of a guardian is extremely important.
Parents have the right to regular visitation with their child even if a guardianship is in place as long as the visitation is in the best interests of the child. Guardianship may also be suggested as an alternative to a juvenile dependency case by the Child Protective Services caseworker. A guardianship can prevent the filing of a juvenile dependency petition and provide for a safe and loving home for a child while the parent improves their circumstances.
If the parent does not consent to guardianship, in order to establish a guardianship, you must prove by clear and convincing evidence the parent is unfit to serve as a guardian of the child due to issues such as neglect, abuse, or abandonment.
Depending on the circumstances of your case and your relationship to the child, guardianship cases can be complicated to navigate without legal help. Moore Law for Children has represented both guardians and parents in guardianship proceedings in Orange County and has the experience to assist you through the legal process. If you are considering becoming a legal guardian, Moore Law for Children is here to help you by handling all of the legal obligations so you can focus on your family. We would like to answer your questions. So, please call, and let us assist you.