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

What’s the Difference Between Guardianship and Adoption?

A guardianship may be necessary when parents are rendered unable to effectively care for a child, but it is not as permanent or legally binding as adoption. According to the Judicial Branch of California, a legal guardianship is also distinct from an adoption in that parents do not relinquish their parental rights by allowing another adult to serve as their child’s legal guardian. They are allowed a reasonable amount of contact with their child during guardianship and are still permitted, to a reasonable extent, to be involved in decisions about their child’s future and wellbeing. Because guardianship can be terminated once it is no longer necessary, it may be a plausible fit for parents whose reasons for being unable to care for their children may be resolved in the future, such as military parents being deployed overseas.

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.

Let us help you resolve your guardianship issue quickly and easily. Call our experienced San Diego family lawyers of the Law & Mediation Firm of Klueck & Hoppes, APC at (619) 577-4900 today or contact us to set up a complimentary case evaluation.