How do you legally care for your grandchildren?

On Behalf of | May 18, 2022 | Guardianship |

Many people envision their golden years as when they can leave the workforce and spend hours with their grandchildren before bidding goodbye and heading home.

However, life doesn’t always go as planned, and some grandparents find they may need to step into a void and take over the parenting responsibilities for their grandchildren. In that case, the grandparents may need to seek an order of guardianship from the court.

What is guardianship?

Guardianship occurs when the California court system gives physical custody of the child to an adult other than the parents or has them manage the minor’s estate or both. Guardianship of the estate usually only occurs if the child inherits assets or property and both parents are not available to take care of the child’s assets until they reach adulthood.

Guardianship of the person means that the adult is responsible for the minor child’s physical, mental, and emotional care. A judge usually orders a guardianship when one or both parents are unable to care for their child due to various factors, such as:

  • Serving in the military and going on a tour of duty
  • Imprisonment
  • Abuse
  • Physically or mentally unable to care for the child
  • Going into rehab

The parents can still be involved in their child’s life with guardianship. The guardianship may be supervised by the court, and the judge may end it if the parents can resume care for their child.

If you are a grandparent who has found yourself needing to take over guardianship of your grandchildren, know that you are not alone. There are resources available to help you through this difficult time, and your grandchildren will undoubtedly benefit from having you as their guardian. Remember that your love for them is what matters most, and be there for them as they go through this challenging transition.