How a Guardianship Attorney Can Help

The intent of California law is family unification – keeping children with their parents.  However, this is not always possible.  If a parent is no longer considered fit to raise their child, another individual can be appointed by the court to be the child’s legal guardian.  This typically occurs only in extreme situations such as when a parent has a substance abuse issue or is engaged in documented criminal behavior that places the child in harm’s way.

The law requires at least one responsible adult have legal rights over a child.  Guardians are appointed if there is suspicion the child is being abused, the child has been abandoned, or the child is alone due to the death of a parent.

Guardianship lasts until the child reaches adulthood or other arrangements are made to care for the child.  A qualified guardianship attorney provides invaluable guidance to adults who want to become guardians of minor children.  The attorney will represent you in court and offer legal recommendations as you move through the legal process.

How Guardianships Are formed

Anytime a family member suspects a child is being abused or neglected, they should report their suspicions to Child Protective Services (CPS) who will conduct a thorough investigation to determine if the allegations are valid.

CPS can, in the best interest of the child, recommend to the courts that the child be removed from their home.  When this occurs, CPS generally contacts family members to see if they are willing to care for the child.  The appropriate family member is then presented to the court as a prospective guardian of the child.  The alternative is to place the child in foster care.

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