Why A Child May Need A Legal Guardian

By The Law Offices of Ronald K. Stitch|May 18, 2022

A child’s parents are not always those legally responsible for providing them with care and making decisions about their upbringing. For various reasons, a child might be placed under the care of a legal guardian.

A legal guardian is not an adoptive parent (although they might become one sometimes). However, they are adults responsible for caring for a child, managing their finances, or both.

Several situations may justify establishing a guardianship arrangement for a child. The following are a few common examples. If you know a child facing one of these scenarios, contact a guardianship attorney to learn if you have the right to become their guardian or request a court to appoint one.


Ideally, a child’s parents would make the care of their children a top priority. Unfortunately, the fact that someone had a child does not automatically mean they are fit to be a parent.

Some parents abandon their children or fail to properly attend to their needs and care, in which case guardianship may be necessary.


A parent might have every intention of caring for their child. However, they may be unable to do so because of an illness, injury, or other conditions.

This is another circumstance that can warrant guardianship. Be aware that guardianship is different from adoption in several key ways. One difference involves parental rights.

When a child has a legal guardian, their parents generally have certain rights, such as the right to visit or remain in contact with them to a reasonable degree. Thus, assigning a guardian to care for a child whose parent is ill does not mean that the parent is being deprived of the right to be involved in their child’s life. It simply means someone in a better position to care for the child is doing so because their sick or seriously injured parent cannot.


If both of a child’s parents have passed away, or the one parent who was involved in their life and upbringing has died, the eventual goal may be for the child to be adopted. However, this might not happen immediately. In these circumstances, someone appointed to the legal guardian role can provide for a child’s care until the adoption process is complete.

Although this is not always the case, in some instances, a legal guardian may even become the one to adopt a child. A qualified guardianship attorney can discuss these matters in greater detail if you have questions.

Contact a Westlake Village Guardianship Attorney Today

These are among the common reasons a child may need a legal guardian. However, each guardianship case is somewhat unique. If you believe a guardianship arrangement may be necessary for a child you know, reach out to a Westlake Village guardianship attorney at the Law Offices of Ronald K. Stitch. We will help you navigate what may appear to be a complex and overwhelming situation. Learn more about how we can help by contacting us online or calling 818-707-0202 to schedule a free consultation.

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