Estate guardianship is established to manage a child's income, money, or other assets until the child turns 18. A child may need a guardian of the estate if he inherits money or property. In most cases, the court appoints the surviving parent as the guardian of the child's estate. A legal guardian is a person who has the legal authority to care for and manage the affairs of a child. A legal guardian has the same responsibilities to and for the child as a parent.
The parent retains limited legal rights, including reasonable contacts and visitation, and the parent can request the return of the child to his or her custody. The standard for this statement is the best interests of the child. The father retains the duty to support his child financially. Temporary guardianship in California means that an adult, a person over the age of 18, is responsible for a child for a certain period of time.
The guardian can make decisions related to finances, education, health care and other important matters, and is also responsible for the care of the child. When a court appoints you as the person's guardian, you will have the same responsibilities to care for the child as the natural parent. You would have full legal and physical custody of the child and could make all decisions about the child's physical care. You would be responsible for the child's care, supervision, food, clothing, shelter, safety, protection, physical growth, emotional growth, medical care, dental care, and education.
Probate Court can only grant guardianship if the child does not participate in a Family Court or Juvenile Court action. The court will grant guardianship if it is proven, through clear and convincing evidence, that the appointment of the guardian serves the best interests of the child (see California Family Code 304). If the child still needs a guardian after the temporary order expires, you can start the temporary guardianship process again or request permanent guardianship through the court. Another difference is that with a guardianship, the court can end the guardianship if the parents can or want to care for the child.
A family caregiver should be informed about the option to stay in legal guardianship and adoption, regardless of immigration status. Visit the California Courts Becoming a Guardian webpage for complete information, forms, and filing instructions for the California probate guardianship process. Dependency Court grants “Dependency Guardianship” and Probate Court grants “Probate Guardianship”. With guardianship, parents still have parental authority and can ask the court for reasonable contact with the child.
If you are appointed legal guardian of a child, you will have the authority and obligation to make decisions that affect the care, education, medical treatment and supervision of the child (also referred to as “guardianship for guardianship proceedings”). The Indian Child Welfare Act applies to all child custody proceedings, including legal guardianship (both dependency and probate). A guardianship is very complex and it's important that an experienced California guardianship attorney be there to guide you. In cases where there is no formal testamentary guardianship and the child is not subject to dependency proceedings (i).
The rights of biological parents are suspended while the guardianship order is in effect), they cannot make decisions for the child. Soon after birth, Kaylee was placed by her parents in the care of a relative who, with parental consent, sought guardianship in Probate Court and was granted temporary guardianship. And when the parent dies, the joint guardian will have full custody of the child without another guardianship hearing. If you want to become the temporary guardian of a child, be prepared to show that guardianship is necessary for the welfare of the child.