In the previous blog we took a generalized look at the process and reasons to seek guardianship of a minor in the California Courts, with a focus on what are termed “probate guardianships.” In this blog we will look at guardianships that involve Juvenile Dependency Court and/or other social service providers. This information appears in a condensed form; please note we will not here address related topics such as caregivers and special needs children.
In situations where such problems as child abuse or neglect are a factor, and Child Protective Services (CPS) has become involved, then petitioning for guardianship must take place with Juvenile Dependency Court. This process differs from the probate guardianship, and may, depending on the child’s situation and other Depending on the child’s situation and other issues, the guardianship matter may be decided very quickly by the judge. The parents may be involved in the decision; the case may be summarily dismissed by the judge upon the court’s selection of a guardian.
From that point forward, the court will, of course, continue to oversee that the guardian(s) fulfill their role properly, and in the best interest of the child. This means, among other things, that the child is placed in a safe, loving and nurturing environment.
It’s important also to note the differences between guardianships and adoption.
- The court is empowered to supervise guardians
- guardianship may be terminated by the court if deemed necessary, as in cases when parent(s) becomes able to resume responsibilities of parenting
- Original/previous/birth parents retain parental rights, e.g. visitation, etc.
- Original parents’ rights are permanently terminated.
- Legal relationship with adoptive parents is permanent and is exactly like that of birth family.
- Adopted child may inherit from adopted parents
- There is no court supervision necessary
Guardians’ responsibilities are serious, complex, and require total commitment. If you are considering, or being considered for, a guardianship role, you may choose to first consult a knowledgeable family law attorney.
As Orange County’s premier family law specialists, the attorneys at Dinnebier & Demmerle can provide answers to your questions and concerns, clarify and establish your legal rights, and represent you in court. If you would like more information about the different types and requirements of guardianship or any other aspect of California family law, please call to set up a consultation. We’re ready to move forward when you are. Just contact us in Tustin at 714-838-1099.