Leon F. Bennett, Esq.
Los Angeles and Ventura County Guardianship Lawyer
Guardianship in California is a legal process relating to the care and needs of a minor. A guardianship exists when an adult who is not the child’s parent is appointed by the court to care for the child’s person and/or property. If you are appointed as the legal guardian of a child, you will have the authority and obligation to make decisions affecting the care, education, medical treatment and supervision of the child. Guardianship is different than child custody.
Generally, the court will appoint you as guardian of a child if the parent or parents are unable or unwilling to exercise their parental rights or if the parents voluntarily consent to the guardianship. The court will grant a guardianship if it is shown through clear and convincing evidence that the appointment of the guardian serves in the best interest of the child. However, the parents may have the right to reasonable visitation with the child as well as an obligation to pay child support to the guardian.
Defining Adult Guardianship
Courts may appoint an adult guardian to care for a minor, who is not the child of the adult in a number of situations, including when the parents have abandoned a minor, when a minor’s parents have died or when a minor’s parents are incapable of providing proper care for the child. A legal guardian may be a friend, family member or other person the court feels will act in the minor’s best interest. As the minor’s legal guardian, an adult may be granted physical custody of the minor or they may act as a financial guardian who has the responsibility to provide for the minor’s physical and personal needs.