Guardianships

Guardianship law in California allows the guardian to take legal responsibility for a minor child. A family member may accept guardianship of a child if a parent becomes terminally ill, or the parents are unavailable or unfit to parent or upon death of both parents. Establishing a guardian when the parent is still alive generally requires the biological parents' approval. If appointed legal guardian, there are several things that you are responsible for providing:

  • Food, clothing and shelter
  • Safety and protection
  • Management of the finances
  • Medical and dental care

An attorney can provide your family support as you consider whether a guardianship is in your family's best interests. Contact the Law Office of Heather Cullen for skilled guidance on guardianship issues. We will advise you of the proper procedure to obtain a guardianship. Our practice handles the actual guardianship proceedings, as well as a termination of guardianship.

California Guardianship Basics

There are three types of guardians: guardian of a person, guardian of an estate and guardian of a person and estate. The different types reflect the knowledge that different people have different needs from guardians. The attorneys at Law Office of Heather Cullen can counsel you on the proper type of guardianship that would best suit the degree of assistance required by the dependant.

Adoption v. Guardianship in California

Adoption in California is different from a legal guardianship. The court may terminate the guardianship if it is in the best interest of the child. An adoption, on the other hand, cannot be terminated by the court. In some cases, stepparents who are unable to terminate the biological parent's legal rights may seek guardianship instead of a stepparent adoption. If the court obtains protection over an adult it is considered a conservatorship. We do not seek conservatorships for adults.

For any family law matter related to guardianship, contact a California family law lawyer at Law Office of Heather Cullen. We have law offices in both Riverside and Temecula.