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Westlake Village Guardianship Attorney

There are times when an adult who is not a child’s parent can be appointed by the court to serve as the child’s guardian. However, being appointed as the legal guardian of a child can be a complicated and emotional process. Here, the Westlake Village guardianship attorneys at the Law Offices of Ronald K. Stitch want to discuss how this process works and what you can do to get through this.

Understanding guardianships in Westlake Village

If a person is appointed the legal guardian of a child, they will have the authority and the obligation to make decisions pertaining to the care, education, supervision, and medical treatment of the child. When guardianship is established, the rights of the child’s parents are temporarily suspended. However, it is not uncommon for parents to retain the right to visitation with their child, and they may also have an obligation to continue to pay child support to the guardian.

In general, the court will appoint a person a guardian of a child if the parents are unwilling or unable to execute their parental duties. The court in California will grant guardianship if there is clear and commencing evidence that doing so is in the best interests of the child. Often, the court appoints a relative or friend of the family as a guardian.

Difference between guardianship and adoption

There are certainly differences between guardianship and an official adoption. An Adoption is the placement of a child with a completely new set of parents. The adopted child is treated the same as the birth child with the new parents.

In guardianships, biological parents will still have parental rights and are able to ask for reasonable contact with the child. It is uncommon for guardianship to result in a parent losing their rights altogether. The court can end a guardianship if the child’s biological parents become able and willing to care for the child.

Types of guardianships in Westlake Village

We want to discuss two types of guardianships that may be possible: guardianship of the person and guardianship of the estate.

Guardianship of the person

When the court appoints a guardian of the person, this guardian will have the same responsibilities to care for the child as the biological parent. The guardian will have complete legal and physical custody of the child and make all decisions related to their care.

Guardianship of the estate

When a court appoints a guardian of the estate, this guardian will have responsibilities pertaining to managing the child’s money, income, investments, and other property until the child reaches the age of majority (which is 18 in California). A child may need a guardian of the estate if they inherit money and the parents are not present in their life or have passed away.

Call our Westlake Village guardianship attorney today

If you or somebody you care about is involved in becoming the guardian of a child, or if you think you may need to become a guardian of a child, please contact our family law attorney at the Law Offices of Ronald K. Stitch as soon as possible. Our team is standing by to help ensure that this process flows as smoothly as possible. A guardianship is very complex. However, an experienced Westlake Village guardianship lawyer can help with every step of the way. You can contact us for a free consultation by clicking here or by calling 818-237-4574.

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