Every child deserves the chance to grow up with loving parents. For most, this means staying with their biological parents. However, for others, legal intervention may be necessary to place them with a guardian.

With this in mind, courts only act under limited circumstances to appoint a guardian. At the same time, the court must believe that a party petitioning for guardianship would provide the best possible home for the child.

If you are thinking about petitioning for guardianship of a child, you should reach out to a trusts and estates attorney at our firm. A Tustin guardianship lawyer could explain the relevant laws, determine if this type of petition is possible, and present your case in family court.

Responsibilities of a Guardian in Tustin

Every child must have at least one guardian taking care of their needs. In most situations, these individuals are the child’s biological parents. However in some situations, there are parents who are no longer willing or able to care for the welfare of their children. When this happens, the courts may intervene to appoint a new guardian.

A court-appointed guardian has all the same rights and responsibilities as biological parents. They must take every reasonable step to ensure that a child has all of their needs met and grown up in a safe environment. In the interests of this goal, the court requires guardians to submit an annual report to the court. This report contains information about the ongoing familial relationship and the child’s present situation. If a court is not satisfied with a guardian’s ability to care for the child in question, it may act to terminate the relationship. A Tustin attorney could help potential guardians understand their role in the lives of children as well as under the law.

Reasons Why Court-Appointed Guardianship May be Necessary

The law presumes that a child’s biological parents retain the right of guardianship over their children unless this is otherwise against the minors’ best interests. Some common examples of why a court may terminate a parent’s rights include:

  • Death of biological parents
  • Serious mental health problems
  • Long-term incarceration
  • Drug or alcohol addiction
  • Patterns of abuse

While the state may act on its own to terminate a biological parent’s rights, individuals must act on their own initiative to request guardianship. California Probate Code § 1510 describes what a guardianship petition must include, such as information about the proposed guardian, how that guardian would be able to provide a safe home for the child, and why this arrangement has proper legal standing. A Tustin lawyer could provide more information about the legal basis for guardianship and help potential guardians to file petitions with family courts.

Reach Out to a Tustin Guardianship Attorney Today

The right to retain custody of one’s children is always at the center of a parent-child relationship. However, situations can arise where a family court must act to remove a child from a home and permanently terminate a parent’s rights. When this happens, the court typically will be open to petitions of guardianship.

If you are considering petitioning a family court to grant you custody over a child, a Tustin guardianship lawyer could help. They could explain the laws concerning this arrangement, research a child’s current custody status, form comprehensive petitions for appointment as a guardian, and present your case in court. Contact a local attorney today to learn more.

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