Kathleen J. Smith, Attorney at Law

Establishing legal guardianship and what it means for your family

There are many ways to bring California families together, and establishing a guardianship may be one of them. You may be in a situation in which it may be necessary to seek either temporary or permanent guardianship of a child. These are often complex situations, and it may be necessary to secure legal guidance as you work to find a beneficial and practical solution to your family law concerns.

Before you initiate the process of seeking guardianship, it can be useful to understand what lies ahead. When pursuing a legal objective related to complex family law concerns, you would be wise to seek a full understanding of both your legal options and your rights.

The process of establishing guardianship

Technically speaking, you can begin the process of seeking guardianship by filing certain paperwork with the court. It may be necessary to take these steps if you believe it is in the best interests of the child for you to do so. Perhaps because the parent is not present or is unable to care for the child for whatever reason, you may need to seek guardianship to ensure that a child receives the care and support he or she needs.

When seeking legal guardianship of a child, the court will take the following factors into consideration:

  • The court will only grant guardianship if it is clearly in the best interests of the child or children.
  • It is likely that you will have to sign an oath agreeing to take on all of the responsibilities associated with this step, including financial responsibilities.
  • Before granting guardianship, the court may ask for you to submit to various interviews, and the same may be asked of the children as well.

Often, grandparents may find it necessary to seek guardianship in order to care for grandchildren when the biological parents are unable to do so.

Should you name your own guardians?

Parents may find it prudent to go ahead and name guardians for their own children in case they are ever incapacitated. If you believe that this could be beneficial for you, you would be wise to take the appropriate steps to ensure that there are no legal complications in the future.

If you have questions about seeking guardianship of a minor or wish to make plans to protect your family in the future, you have the right to seek an evaluation of your case and an explanation of your family law legal options.

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