Kathleen J. Smith, Attorney at Law

Acquiring emergency guardianship of a California child

If you are a family friend or a relative concerned about the welfare of a child that you have a close relationship with, you may be interested in pursuing emergency guardianship of that child. Guardianship and adoption often fall within the same legal area because they both concern minor children. Family law attorneys are equipped to handle these cases due to their training and experience with guardianship and adoption.

Our attorneys have great admiration for those want to help a child in need or at risk. As such, we take an interest in helping residents understand how to pursue and acquire emergency guardianship of a child.

One of the first things you must establish is why such a guardianship is necessary. Here are several scenarios explaining when a child may be in need of emergency intervention.

  • A child's parents are struggling with substance abuse or mental health issues
  • A child's parent or parents are facing incarceration
  • A child has recently lost one or both parents
  • A child has not been able to receive necessary medical care
  • A child's parent or parents are disabled or incapacitated physically

As you might expect, California courts take both guardianship and adoption quite seriously. This means that you cannot simply decide on your own when children you know need someone to look after them. You must instead file a petition and provide evidence to the court.

We want to make certain you understand that although you can ask a court for emergency guardianship on your own, working with an attorney is wise. Having a legal advocate supporting you improves your chances of acquiring guardianship while streamlining the process for you and for the child in need. Please keep reading our legal website to learn more about working within California's family court system.

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