Being named the guardian of a child is a very serious matter. The person who has this designation must care for the children just as a biological parent would. A guardianship is usually established if the biological parents of the children aren't able to care for them. In some cases, a guardianship is used if the child lives with relatives or friends for whatever reason.
Not all child custody cases are resolved in an amicable manner. In some cases, the events that lead the parents to divorce are so contentious that they just can't be civil. In other cases, there are circumstances, such as drug addiction, that might make child custody challenging. In these cases, a guardian ad litem might be ordered for the children.
With the heightened national focus on immigrants who lack legal documentation, many of those immigrants with children born in the United States find themselves in a difficult position: They could be deported but their children could be allowed to stay.
Guardianships are one of those areas of family law that are often misunderstood. In our previous blog post, we discussed how establishing guardianships can help you to ensure that your children are cared for if you aren't able to care for them yourself. This is what is truly important in these cases -- that the person who needs to be cared for is taken care of.
Many people don't understand the purpose or scope of appointing a guardian for their children. Ideally, all parents would take the steps necessary to make these plans for their children. It would help to take a lot of unnecessary guesswork out of what is going to happen to your children if something happens to you.
Family court proceedings involving a child are often complex and require a great deal of consideration and preparation. This is particularly true when guardianships of children are requested. Those seeking to be appointed guardian of a minor child, or a parent opposed to such a request, will want to gain a clear understanding of what guardianship of a child in California entails. The best place to get that information is by consulting with an attorney experienced in handling these types of legal proceedings.
It is nothing new for children to live with their grandparents. However, with the rise of drug dependency in California and across the country, more and more retirees seem to be seeking guardianships for their grandchildren. Some child advocates believe that children are better adjusted if they are raised with family members, but the strain on the grandparent can be enormous.