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Why A Child May Need A Legal Guardian

The Law Offices of Ronald K. StitchMay 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 an adult who is responsible for caring for a child, managing their finances, or both.

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


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 otherwise fail to attend to their needs and care properly. Guardianship may be necessary when this happens.


A parent might have every intention of caring for their child. However, they may not be able to do so because of an illness, injury, or other such condition.

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

When a child has a legal guardian, generally, their parents still have certain rights, such as the right to visit them 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 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 who has been appointed to the role of the legal guardian 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 on the topic.

Contact a Westlake Village Guardianship Attorney Today

These are among the more 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 us at 818-237-4574 to schedule a free consultation.

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