Guardianships are a method of obtaining legal custody of or decision-making authority over a minor child. There are many different types of guardianship actions. Michelle Evans can help you obtain guardianship of a minor, whether the child is a family member or just someone that you know in need of help. Some typical instances include a grandparent who has been caring for a grandchild while the parents are facing issues of drug abuse or incarceration.
Types of Legal Guardianship
General Guardianships provide guardians with the authority and responsibility to make decisions in a wide range of areas in a child’s life. This includes decisions related to a child’s medical, educational, and developmental needs. Guardians are given custody of the minor child, and often the court will grant the parent(s) the right to visit with the child, so long as the visitation is in the child’s best interest. A court investigation is also required. If a parent does not agree to a guardianship over his/her child, a contested hearing.
Temporary Guardianships involve a court appointing a temporary guardian in the short term while a complete guardianship investigation is pending in the court system.
A Guardian’s Right to Adopt
Sometimes what the guardian initially believes will be a temporary situation yet as time goes on it becomes clear that the parent(s) are not able to assume the responsibilities and duties of caring for the child. The child’s bond with the guardian grows stronger, and eventually it becomes in the child’s best interest to have the guardian be the “forever home” for the child.
In recent years, the legislature has accounted for this situation, and given guardians the ability to adopt, even when the parents have maintained some contact with the child. Pursuant to Probate Code Section 1516.5, if a guardianship has been in place for more than two years, the guardian can petition the court to terminate the parental rights of the parents and adopt the child.
Guardianship proceedings can be complicated. You need an attorney you can trust and who has experience handling contested Guardianships. To schedule a confidential consultation with an experienced attorney, calling us at (805) 242- 6270 or e-mail our law office.