What is a Guardianship?
There are two types of guardianship: (1) guardianship of the person and (2) guardianship of the estate.
Legal Guardianship Lawyer in Santa Rosa, California
At DeSantis Law Group, Inc, we understand that guardianship law matters are of great importance. When legal situations affect not only yourself, but the lives of children that you care about, it is vital to take every step possible to secure their safety and future.
We pride ourselves on providing expert and compassionate legal services for individuals in our communities. We are fiercely committed to advocating for the wellbeing of children and supporting the adults in their lives who seek to provide them with the safe environment that they so deserve.
If you are dealing with a guardianship law matter in Santa Rosa, CA, contact our office for a consultation. Our attorneys are standing by, ready for the opportunity to help you and your loved ones.
What Is Probate Guardianship?
Probate guardianship is when the court appoints an adult who is not the parent of a child to care for that child and/or the child’s estate. This occurs when the child’s parents or guardians are unable to care for them properly due to death, health problems, or safety concerns.
Probate guardianships are granted by a probate court, and cannot be granted if the child is involved in any family court or juvenile court matter.
How Does Legal Guardianship Function In Family Law Matters?
Legal guardianships in family matters are typically appointed by the courts on an emergency or temporary basis. The primary role of a legal guardian is to act in the best interest of the child and ensure that they are cared for.
Appointed guardians are usually family members or relatives and they must fill out paperwork to be filed with the court showing their desire to be appointed as guardian. Temporary guardianships usually last for 6 months at most. After the temporary order expires you may apply for another temporary guardianship, or permanent guardianship, if the child still requires it.
Temporary guardianship duties are the same as permanent guardianship duties, wherein the rights of the parents are not terminated, but suspended. You are required to make all required decisions for the child such as housing, medical care, and schooling. You are also required to provide for the child financially and be responsible for any misconduct on the behalf of the child.
You may be required to take court appointed classes or counseling as a temporary guardian, or provide specific resources for the child as are designated by the court. Every situation is different, and it may be helpful for you to speak to a legal guardianship attorney about the specifics of your case.
What Does It Mean When A Child Is A Dependent Of The Juvenile Court?
A dependent of the juvenile court is a child who is at risk of harm by a parent or relative. In these cases, the court will step in to make decisions about the child and their welfare.
This process usually begins when a prosecuting attorney or social worker files a petition requesting that the courts make orders that will act to protect the child. These orders can take many forms, including safely removing the child from their parent’s home and placing the child in the care of a relative or friend who is able to care for the child.
If you are seeking to care for a child who is a dependent of the Juvenile Court of California, it is important to act as quickly as possible. When a child is placed in the care of a temporary caregiver by the courts, it is common for that caregiver to become the child’s foster parent if they are approved as a resource family.
If approved as a resource family, and if necessary, the foster parent is most often the person appointed as permanent guardian for the child. This is done in order to protect the child and provide as much stability as possible.
Contacting a legal guardianship attorney immediately and speaking with the social worker or probation officer appointed to the case is usually the best way to begin the process of assuming guardianship.
Do I Need An Attorney To Set Up A Guardianship Of Estate In Santa Rosa, CA?
Under guardianship law in the state of California, it is not expressly required to retain the services of a legal guardianship lawyer in order to become the guardian of a child’s estate. This being said, setting up guardianship of an estate can be a complicated process. Additionally, the California legal system views the fiduciary responsibility of estate guardianship as the highest duty recognized by the law.
An attorney will be able to be an aid in the process of estate guardianship, as they are keenly aware of the rules and regulations surrounding your role as guardian of the estate. When an attorney is hired to work with you on your estate matter, the lawyer’s fees will come from the estate and must be approved by the court in order to provide financial protection for the child.
The legal guardianship attorneys at DeSantis Law Group, INC are trusted and experienced professionals. If you have a guardianship law matter in Santa Rosa, California that you are seeking legal counsel for, please don’t hesitate to contact our office for a consultation today.
Guardianship of the Person
When a minor child’s parents are unable or unwilling to properly care for a child, an adult may seek to become the child’s legal guardian (like a surrogate parent) which requires appointment by the court. The guardian is required to assume important duties and obligations. For example, the guardian:
- Has the care, custody, and control of the child
- Is responsible for providing food, clothing, shelter, education, and all medical and dental needs of the child
- Must provide for the child’s safety, protection, physical growth, and emotional growth
A guardian has legal and physical custody of the child and is responsible for all decisions related to the child. The child’s parents can no longer make decisions for the child while there is a guardianship. The parents’ rights are suspended – not terminated – as long as a guardian is appointed for a minor. Even when the child has a guardian, the parents are still obligated to financially support the child, and the guardian may take action to obtain child support.
Guardianship of the Estate
A guardianship of the estate is an arrangement in which an adult is given legal authority over a minor child’s assets. This can become necessary when the child has substantial assets but is too young (or otherwise unable) to manage those assets appropriately.
When Does A Guardianship End?
A guardianship automatically ends when the child reaches the age of 18, is adopted, marries, is emancipated by court order, enters into active military duty, or dies. If none of these events has occurred, the child, a parent, or the guardian may petition the court to terminate the guardianship. However, it must be shown that the guardianship is no longer necessary or that termination of the guardianship is in the child’s best interest.
For more information about Guardianships, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (707) 900-4500 today.
The ideas discussed in this article are for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The reader should consult with an attorney to determine what is in the reader’s own best interest.