Guardianship in the state of California

06 Aug Guardianship in the state of California

Most court systems agree that the best interest of the child is maintained while that child is with his or her biological parents. However, in some cases, if the biological parents are unfit or otherwise unable to take care of the child, the court may order others to assume guardianship of the child.

Guardianship can be awarded to grandparents, siblings, aunts and uncles etc. It can even be given to non-relatives. Non-relatives qualifying as guardians may be friends of the family, foster parents etc. The guardian appointed by the court system would thereafter be the custodian of the child. A guardian has the right to make all medical decisions including dental care, counseling as well as any other procedure or treatment that the child may need. The child’s education also becomes the guardian’s responsibility.

The guardian also has the right to choose the child’s educational program, whether a daily school or homeschool. While it is normal for the child to live with the guardian in the latter’s house, in some cases the guardian may let the child live somewhere else.

In California, guardians may need permission of the court to take the child out of state and in most cases are financially responsible for the child. A guardian thus becomes a quasi-parent. He or she may be held responsible and can even be sued for the irresponsible misconduct of a delinquent child. In addition, a court may ask the guardian to take on additional responsibilities for the child under his or her care.

An individual may need to consult a legal professional about obtaining court ordered guardianship. Though the process can be complex, it can be a great way to ensure an endangered child is properly cared for by another who is suitable to care for him or her.

Source: Courts.CA.gov, “Juvenile Court Guardianship,” Accessed on Aug. 1, 2014

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