Guardianships Your Divorce. Your Choices.

San Diego Guardianship Attorneys

Guardianship Attorney in La Mesa & San Diego County Since 1990

The legal guardianship of a child or children can be acquired by a non-parent in addition to physical custody. People often petition for legal guardianship on behalf of their relatives, such as grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings, etc. The child's legal guardian can be anyone, even someone unrelated to the child. Guardianships are often administered in situations where parents are deceased, in jail or prison, or struggling with addictions or other issues that make it difficult for them to care for their children, or many other circumstances where parents are unable to protect and provide for their children.

If you need help establishing or enforcing a guardianship in Southern California, Family Law San Diego can help. Our team of San Diego guardianship lawyershas been helping local families in the community since 1990, and we are here to help you too.

Why Hire Family Law San Diego?

Our founding and principal attorney, Garrison Klueck, has achieved much recognition, including being named a Super Lawyer in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011, being named "Top Attorney" by the San Diego Daily Transcript newspaper in 2007 and 2008, being a Board-Certified Family Law Specialist and receiving extensive mediation training. He has been a bar association leader and has appeared on television and radio multiple times.

Our firm has also received other honors and awards based on his work, including:

  • Perfect 10.0 Avvo rating
  • Named as Best of the Bar in San Diego Business Journal
  • Named Best Overall Law Firm in San Diego by FINE Magazine
  • He has appeared as a frequent host and guest expert regarding family law issues on 760 KFMB-AM and as a guest expert on CW 6-TV,
  • San Diego (San Diego 6). Attorney Klueck has also worked at ABC, CBS, NBC and NPR stations.

Schedule a free consultation at our office today. Call (619) 577-4900 to get started.

The Fundamentals of Guardianships

While legal guardians are very often close relatives of the child such as grandparents, siblings, aunts/uncles, they do not have to be related. Legal guardians are granted many of the same rights and responsibilities as a parent, although you will be supervised to some extent by the Court.

Rights & Responsibilities of Guardians: As a legal guardian, you will be responsible for the child’s care, including:

  • The child’s food, clothing and shelter
  • The child’s medical care
  • The child’s schooling/education
  • Appropriate supervision of the child

You will need to financially support the child in the absence of any public financial assistance or child support you may receive for the child. You may also be responsible for harm or damages the child may cause.

What is the Difference Between Guardianship and Conservatorships?

Note that legal guardianship refers to a non-parent gaining custody over a child under the age of 17. Having conservatorship means being able to act on behalf of another adult over the age of 18 (when both are over 18).

When Is Guardianship of Children Necessary?

In some cases, one or both parents may not be able to provide the level of stability, safety, and nurturing care their child requires. While there may be no question as to how much a parent loves their child, some circumstances may prevent them from behaving as a parent. In Southern California guardianship cases, these often include:

  • Serious medical problems
  • Severe mental illness
  • Military deployment overseas
  • Jail and prison time
  • Substance abuse (drugs and alcohol)
  • Physical, sexual, and/or emotional abuse

How Do Guardianships Differ from Adoptions?

The difference between guardianships and adoptions is that an adoption terminates the parent/child relationship and all related rights and responsibilities. With a guardianship, the parent/child relationship remains intact; however, the guardian assumes most of the rights and responsibilities for the child. Because the parent/child relationship remains intact in a guardianship, guardianships can be temporary or terminated if the parent becomes able to care for the child.

Guardianships provide an option when a parent will not agree to terminate their parental rights. When adoption is not an option, legal guardianship may be an alternative. Speak to a San Diego guardianship attorney at our office to learn more.

How to Establish Legal Guardianship of a Minor

Legal guardians commonly include other family members such as aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc., though a willing, non-family party could also serve as a child’s appointed guardian. When filing a case to become a guardian, you will have to complete important documents, which include a guardianship petition, letters of guardianship, a confidential guardian screening form, and more. Whether you are a parent seeking to nominate someone else to serve as a legal guardian for your child or you are petitioning to become a child’s legal guardian, you need board-certified family law experts on your side.

Empowering People with Choices & Options

When life changes, Family Law San Diego is here to help. Easily accessible and readily available to help the minute you need it; we can be trusted to guide you through the legal process ahead. When it comes to establishing or enforcing a guardianship, you have options and we are here to ensure you have the information you need to make the best decision for your situation.

As a collaborative law practice, we do not rely on just one attorney to handle a case. Instead, we involve many partners in the process in order to yield the best results for our clients. We encourage you to contact us today to learn more about our practice and how we may be of assistance in your case.

Contact us online or call us at (619) 577-4900 to schedule a free consultation with one of our San Diego guardianship attorneys.


  • Comprehensive

    As skilled litigators, mediators, and negotiators, our firm is prepared to handle any type of family law case.

  • Collaborative

    Working together, we pull from our unique backgrounds and resources to achieve the best results possible.

  • Innovative

    We create tailor-made solutions to fit the unique needs of every client and help them move forward favorably.

  • Dedicated

    We are committed to serving a diverse clientele, all the while protecting the interests and fulfilling the needs of clients.

  • I would absolutely recommend this firm!

    “I had the honor of speaking with Mr. Klueck this afternoon. He generously listened to me and gave me helpful advice. I would absolutely recommend this firm for any of your family law needs. You will ...”

    - Gerilyn H.
  • It was a joy to work with him and the entire firm!

    “Aaron was so helpful in getting what we needed done in a timely and communicative manner and it was a joy to work with him and the entire firm!”

    - Nina F.
  • We were successful, despite the opposing party's contention. Thank you again to Garrison Kleuck and his entire team.

    “I needed to hire a lawyer to assist with having my daughter's last name changed. Family Law San Diego' handled everything for me. We were successful, despite the opposing party's contention. Thank you ...”

    - Jennifer B.
  • I appreciate all the hard work everyone demonstrated during my legal issue, first and foremost Garrison!

    “Garrison Klueck is an excellent attorney. I had an outstanding experience in all my interactions with Garrison Klueck. I had a difficult situation and he masterfully navigated throughout the entire ...”

    - Jean M.
  • It feels good to have you on our side.

    “I just wanted to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for representing me today at court. You did an outstanding job explaining what was best in deciding on the outcome to end this long matter of ...”

    - Kevin

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