How to Become a Legal Guardian in Modesto
Are you seeking legal guardianship for a child? Are you not the biological parent? It is vital that you have professional legal representation to help you with the processes involved in becoming the legal guardian. There are many questions that people have about guardianship and what rights and duties the legal guardian will hold.
A guardianship could be sought in various circumstances in which the child must be cared for, such as:
- Parents have suddenly died
- Parents are deployed
- Parents are incarcerated
In cases in which a child is the beneficiary of an estate after the death of the parents, the guardian will have the responsibility to keep complete and accurate records of all financial transactions that affect the estate. This is usually managed by a guardianship checking account, making it a simpler task to keep track of income and expenditures.
Guardianship of the Person
Other cases involve "guardianship of the person." This is the process when there is no parent to meet the needs of the child.
This could be the result of:
- Death of the parents
- Military service
The fundamental responsibility of the guardian of a child is to manage the care, custody and control of the child. You will be fully responsible for providing food, clothing, a home, educational choices, and all medical and dental care of the child. You will also be responsible for providing for the safety and protection of the child, as well as the his or her physical and emotional growth. A guardian has full legal and physical custody of the child, and you are the sole person that has the right to make decisions about the child's care, future and all other matters. During the period of the guardianship, the parents' rights are suspended. These parental rights are not terminated, and in the future, the parents could seek to regain custody.
Maintenance of Parental Rights
Even if you are a legal guardian of a child, parents may maintain parental rights of the child, including contact with the child unless they are ordered to refrain from contact by a court. Obtaining guardianship may mean that you are still monitored by a court to provide the child with the best possible care and that the child may be released back to the custody of the parents should they become fit to raise the child. The parents are still required to support the child financially, but this is not always a possibility. In cases of abandonment or incarceration, the guardian will then be fully supporting the child. If a parent has the capacity to support the child and is not doing so, you can pursue child support through the court system.
One or both parents may not be fit to raise their child due to physical illness, deployment, or incarceration, or the parents may have serious financial struggles and are unable to care for their child. In these cases, Social Services may step in and assign a guardian or a relative, friend, or adult sibling may step in to assume legal guardianship of an underage child.
Family Lawyer Serving Modesto, CA
Pursuing legal guardianship of a child requires a lot of consideration. It is important that you work with an attorney to help the process go smoothly. A Modesto family law attorney from Scott Mitchell Law Incorporated may be able to help. At our firm, we have years of experience in providing families with quality representation for their cases at prices that they can afford. If you are considering adoption or guardianship in Modesto do not hesitate to contact our firm and speak with an attorney as soon as possible.